Best Buy to cut 2,400 jobs, including 600 at Geek Squad

Fri Jul 6, 2012 5:24pm EDT

Best Buy logo is seen at a Best Buy store in Toronto in this April 19, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

Best Buy logo is seen at a Best Buy store in Toronto in this April 19, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch/Files

(Reuters) - Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) plans to cut about 2,400 jobs -- 1.4 percent 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 percent of that unit, whose technicians install and service electronics in customers' homes. The other 1,800 cuts are store positions.

The world's largest electronics chain has seen sales fall seven of the last eight quarters 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 (AMZN.O).

Interim Chief Executive 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.

Mikan took over the CEO post after Brian Dunn exited 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 Dunn.

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

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

Best Buy shares closed Friday down 15 cents at $21.59 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(In paragraph four, please read "seven of the last eight quarters," adding dropped word "quarters")

(Reporting By Brad Dorfman; editing by Gunna Dickson and David Gregorio)