* Best Buy to cut about 1.4 percent of work force
* Cuts include 3 percent of Geek Squad
* Cuts include 1,800 store positions
By Brad Dorfman
July 6 Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy
Co Inc 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.
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
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 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.