Best Buy to close 50 big-box stores

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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Electronics retail chain Best Buy said Wednesday it will close 50 big-box stores within the year and cut approximately 400 corporate and support positions to offset substantial fourth quarter losses.

Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) reported a net loss of $1.7 billion, or $4.89 per share, for its fourth quarter ended March 3, compared to net income of $651 million, or $1.62 per diluted share for the same period in 2011.

Going forward, the Minneapolis-based chain plans to open more of its new Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores as part of a strategy to strengthen its portfolio, said Brian Dunn, CEO.

Best Buy did not release a list of stores it will close. It operates one big-box store and one stand-alone mobile store in Clark County.