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Best Buy to cut 2,400 jobs

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to cut about 2,400 jobs – 1.4 per cent of its workforce – including 600 Geek Squad technicians, a spokesman for the company confirmed on Friday.

The latest cuts come on top of jobs associated with 50 store closings announced in March, spokesman Bruce Hight, said.

The Geek Squad cuts comprise about 3 per cent of that unit, whose technicians install and service electronics in customers' homes. The other 1,800 cuts are store positions.

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The world's largest electronics chain has seen sales fall seven of the last eight months at stores open at least a year – a key measure for retailers.

Best Buy has lost business due to the tendency of consumers to use its stores as a showroom to try out electronic products which they then purchase for less money elsewhere, often from online retailers such as Amazon.com.

Interim chief executive officer Mike Mikan told shareholders in June he was working on a way to make the company "more relevant, more intelligent, more nimble" and said he would reveal the plan later this summer.

Mr. Mikan took over the CEO post after Brian Dunn left during an internal probe that eventually found he had engaged in an improper relationship with a female employee.

The investigation also determined that founder Richard Schulze failed to tell the board about the allegations involving Mr. Dunn.

Mr. Schulze, who was stripped of his chairman role following the probe, abruptly resigned from the board to explore options for his 20.1 per cent stake in the company.

Sources have said that Mr. Schulze is working with banks including Credit Suisse to explore a potential private takeover of the company.

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