Best Buy to Shut US Mobile Phone Stores

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Joly added the mobile phone business of today has matured with margins being compressed and operational costs, for the smaller standalone mobile phone locations are higher than for the large box stores.

Best Buy wouldn't say how many employees would be affected by the move, but the letter said it will help them find other jobs within the company over the next three months.

Those efforts have helped Best Buy grow comparable sales at stores open at least a year in six of the past eight quarters.

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While the company's mobile phone stores may be closing up shop, the Minnesota-based retailer indicated it will continue selling mobile phones via its 1,000 USA big box stores and online. The shops, which are only a fraction of the size of a typical Best Buy location, are now more expensive to operate than a big-box store, it said.

The company has tried to turn itself around by matching online retailer Amazon's low prices, closing underperforming stores, and improving customer service.

The company's overall sales at established stores rose 5 percent, fueled by a 9 percent gain at its low-price chain Old Navy. Key to Best Buy's proposition is its in-store and at-home customer service, experts have told Retail Dive.

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The consumer electronics retailer posted revenue of $15.36 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. The company said new tax legislation reduced earnings per share by $1.17.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is up 4% amid a broad market that's in negative territory.

Best Buy needs no introduction, the brand has been associated with offline retail for several years. Though Best Buy Mobile launched at a time when margins were much higher, these days it's harder to make money with stores that only focus on mobile sales. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.05 per share.

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Gap's fourth-quarter profit fell 7 percent, but the clothing retailer reported strong holiday sales and increased its dividend.