Electronics retailer Bose will shut down its 19 Australian retail stores over the next few months, with the intent to focus on its e-commerce offer in the region.
Locations across North America, Europe and Japan will also be affected, putting hundreds of people out of work across the store network.
The business said in a statement to Inside Retail that the approximately 130 stores located across Greater China, the United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia and South Korea will remain open.
“Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us about multi-component, CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems,” Bose vice president of global sales Colette Burke said.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
“At the time it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it — we’re doing the same thing now. It’s still difficult — because the decision impacts some of our amazing store teams who make us proud every day.”
According to the brand, it will be offering assistance and severance packages to affected employees.
2020 starts with a whimper
Bose joins a list of retailers who have committed to closing stores over the next few months, with EB Games shutting 19 stores, Harris Scarfe closing 21, Bardot closing 58, and Curious Planet’s closure seeing 63 doors shut.
In total, this brings the number of guaranteed store closures to 180 — not taking into account what Jeanswest’s voluntary administration will mean for its 146 stores across Australia.
While consumer sentiment has been historically low recently, the added pressure on the economy and public sphere due to the unprecedented bushfires burning across the country has raised fears that the Christmas period may not have lived up to retailers expectations.
Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman warned that the consensus for December and January trade is still out, to expect the fires to have an impact on trade figures.
This article was first published by Inside Retail.