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Vobis waves goodbye to HQ

German PC chain shutters shops too

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Vobis, the German PC retail chain, is to close its headquarters in Aachen this summer, the company announced today. More than 180 people will lose their jobs. It is also to close 20 of its 150 German retail stores. Last week the company shuttered nine stores.

The German retail chain is losing money and needs to cut costs. By closing its headquarters, it can shift some administrative activities to cheaper locations. Marketing will be co-ordinated from Brunswick and other functions will move to Potsdam.

The German PC business is under great pressure as prices drop and competition from chains such as MediaMarkt and Saturn heats up. Despite the drastic measures, Vobis still has many franchise retail stores and shop-in-shop partners. Altogether, there are more than 300 Vobis outlets.

Vobis was formed 29 years ago in Aachen as Vero GmbH and grew to be Europe's biggest PC retailer by the mid-1990s. In 1997, Vobis boasted 776 stores in eleven countries. Shortly afterwards the firm collapsed and was broken up and sold on. Last year the company had 1,100 employees and a turnover of €450 million. Today, most of the company is owned by Divaco. ®

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