In a bid to save funds and downsize their existing PC business (what’s left of stock in the sales channel) Sony is looking to close down two-thirds of their physical stores in the United States. The company will be shutting down twenty stores across the country and retrenching up to 1000 employees at the same time. Many of these stores were focused on Sony’s laptops, ultrabooks and tablets with a small portion of the store dedicated to Playstation and Bravia products. Sony has announced that it will work with existing retail partners in the US to sell their products and clear out remaining stocks.
This move comes at a time when Sony is experiencing some of its most difficult years financially. Despite the success of Playstation 4 and the strides that Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) is making in the gaming industry, the parent company is having a hard time balancing out the books with an ailing TV business, a slow home theatre market and a struggling laptop lineup. Selling off the VAIO PC business seems to have eased some of that load, but the company needs to make the other markets more profitable, as profit margins from SCE and the mobile division aren’t enough to carry the behemoth forward in the 21st century.
“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 COO 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.”
At least for now, Sony isn’t going anywhere. Playstation 4 is winning the console wars as far as consumer goodwill and loyalty is concerned and the company is selling out consoles faster than they can make them. With Sony building on this through greater PS Plus coverage and their streaming service, Playstation Now, the gaming division seems to be mostly okay. So long as they continue to put out some of the best titles on the console from studios like Naughty Dog, Media Molecule and Sony Santa Monica, things will be alright.