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Best Buy to close its small-format mobile phone stores

February 28, 2018

Best Buy is closing all 250 of its small-format mobile phone stores in the United States, saying the locations have become less profitable.

There are two Best Buy Mobile stores in the Indianapolis area—in Castleton Square and Greenwood Park Mall. Others in central Indiana are in Muncie, Kokomo and Bloomington.

A memo from the CEO to employees says the stores will close by the end of May and every effort will be made to retain the workers.

The nation's largest consumer electronics chain launched the stores more than a decade ago, before Apple's iPhone was launched. The mobile phone business was growing quickly, with high profit margins.

The memo said the business has matured, and running the mobile stand-alones is expensive because most of them are in shopping malls where rents are high. About 85 percent of the stand-alones, which are typically about 1,400 square feet, are within 3 miles of Best Buy big-box stores, which are usually about 40,000 square feet.

Best Buy says the stand-alone stores account for just over 1 percent of the company's total revenue and real estate footprint.

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