Sony has announced that it will close 20 of its 31 U.S. retail stores. The news comes less than a month after the tech giant confirmed plans to subsidize its HDTV division. This move will cut roughly two thirds of Sony's stateside retail presence, and affect over 1,000 employees.
The decision leaves the entire midwest and the vast majority of the east coast bare of physical locations, along with the customer support they provide. Five of the remaining 11 stores are located in California, with three in New York, two in Florida, and one in Texas. The Sony stores sell hardware and accessories for a wide range of Sony products, from replacement cell phone chargers and digital cameras to portable audio equipment and PlayStation controllers.
Sony President and COO Mike Fasulo confirms that the choice was "extremely tough," but "absolutely necessary... for future growth."
The restructuring of the U.S. retail operation is only a small part of Sony's company-wide overhaul—a reaction to a forecasted $1.1 billion fiscal-year loss. The sweeping changes within most Sony divisions will ultimately affect 5,000 employees globally.