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Sony Electronics who were the pioneers of CE branded stores has moved to close 20 major stores in the USA with up to 1,000 employees about to be sacked.

The move has cast doubt on rumours that Sony was looking to open their own branded and Sony run stores in Australia. Last year Bing Lee were forced to close two Sony branded shops that they ran after the CE retailer failed to attract consumer interest in the stores located in Sydney.

Sony who are struggling to remain competitive in an evolving consumer electronics market” said that  the restructuring is “in line with Sony Corporation’s Feb. 6 earnings announcement outlining an estimated headcount reduction of roughly 5,000 employees globally.”

“While these moves were extremely tough, they were absolutely necessary to position us in the best possible place for future growth,” said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics, in a statement. “I am entirely confident in our ability to turn the business around, in achieving our preferred future, and continue building on our flawless commitment to customer loyalty through the complete entertainment experience only Sony can offer.”

Sony said in its statement it “continues to drive its industry leadership in premium products across all of CE, including all-things 4K, and further plans to reinforce its market leadership through strengthening its 4K product lineup and bolstering 2K models in 2014, with a continued commitment to the future success of its U.S. television business.”

Sony said it “will place an increased focus on its premium products – including its digital imaging line, high-resolution audio and full suite of professional solutions – while leveraging its strengths in hardware, content and gaming.”
Eleven stores remain open, including its New York City flagship store and its SPE store at the Culver City, Calif., studios.

Sony operated 44 retail stores at the chain’s peak in 2008, excluding outlets, and was the 20th largest CE retailer in 2012 in the USA.
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