Tweeter Home Entertainment, the Canton, MA electronics retailer, is closing 49 under performing stores from its current portfolio of 153. It is exiting California, Tennessee, Alabama, New York, and parts of Georgia.
Management expects the closings to take place over the next two to three months. Following that, the company will focus on a new prototype concept, dubbed, "Consumer Electronics Playground," and convert its remaining 104 units into that format.
There are currently seven CE Playground stores in operation around the country, and Tweeter has signed leases to open two more in North Carolina later this year. The retailer launched its prototype in the beginning of 2005 in Las Vegas.
The stores are designed to look less like a store and more like a consumer's home, in order to give shoppers an idea of how the products will translate into where they live. The new concept features a fully integrated living room, kitchen, bedroom, sports bar and outdoor setting, all controlled by one master remote.
Over the past few quarters, Tweeter has been plagued by falling sales. Same store sales in its most recently reported quarter, which ended Dec. 31, plunged 10 percent. Total revenue dropped 125 percent to $234 million, and earnings were $2.8 million, compared to $15.5 million during the same quarter a year ago. Management attributed the drop in the final quarter of 2006 primarily to a drop in demand for high end TVs.
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