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Cost-slashing Sony axes 1,000 workers and 20 stores in US

Bosses insist layoffs 'absolutely necessary' as billion-dollar loss looms for the year

Sony Walkman

Sony Electronics announced that it will shut 20 of the 31 stores it operates in the US and lay off 1,000 workers – a third of its workforce.

The entertainment giant said the redundancies are part of Sony Corp's wider cash-cutting program, which will axe 5,000 jobs worldwide and kicked off at the start of February. Back then, it forecast a ¥110bn loss ($1.07bn, £665m) for its financial year to March 2014.

The move announced today will leave the tech goliath with just 11 shops in the States. Five of the remaining stores will be in California, all but one in the San Diego and Los Angeles area. Three stores will stay open in New York, along with two Florida locations and a store in Houston, Texas.

Among the stores set to close are Sony storefronts in Washington state, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

"While these moves were extremely tough, they were absolutely necessary to position us in the best possible place for future growth," said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics.

"I am entirely confident in our ability to turn the business around, in achieving our preferred future, and continue building on our flawless commitment to customer loyalty through the complete entertainment experience only Sony can offer."

Sony Corporation said earlier this month it will overhaul its PC and TV businesses in a series of cuts and moves that will include the sale of the Vaio brand. Those cuts will bring the loss of 5,000 jobs, 3,500 of which will be to business units in the US. The global biz banked a $458m net income on $72bn revenues in its fiscal year that ended Match 2013. In the previous year, it made a $4.4bn loss on $63bn sales.

Sony is not the only big name which has been shedding staff as of late. IBM began the first of what could be as many as 15,000 job cuts, while Dell has been reluctant to say just how many of its employees are being sacked as part of its rebuilding efforts. ®

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