Sony slashing U.S. presence by closing 20 stores, cutting 1,000 jobs

Sony slashing U.S. presence by closing 20 stores, cutting 1,000 jobs

Summary: Are Sony's cutbacks more evidence of the changing of the guard at the top of the tech world?


Sony warned earlier this month about significant and serious reorganization changes coming this year, and now they're becoming a reality for many employees in the United States.

The consumer tech giant announced on Wednesday morning that it will be shuttering 20 stores. This in turn will result in approximately 1,000 layoffs at these locations nationwide.

Sony announced amid its last quarterly earnings report that it is planning to reduce its headcount by close to 5,000 over the course of the year.

Only 11 stores will remain open, scattered across California, Florida, New York and Texas.

A list of the brick-and-mortar locations shuttering soon are available on Sony's website.

Sony's retail presence has been dwindling like a slow bleed over the last few years as many consumers have moved online for tech purchases -- not to mention other brands dominating the mobile world for personal gadgetry.

Nevertheless, Sony has been redistributing its brainpower and resources elsewhere, some of which has paid off. That is most evident in the gaming world with the Sony PlayStation 4 that started shipping last year.

Sony has also been garnering attention for its efforts in advancing flat-screen technology, namely "all-things-4K," according to the electronics business itself.

Topics: Tech Industry, E-Commerce, Hardware, Mobility, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Fork

    You can stick a fork in them to see if they are done but I think they are. I use to go to the Wrentham store.
    • This has been an ongoing thing.

      They closed their King of Prussia Mall store a couple of years ago, and KOP is the 10th largest mall in the world, so it can't be about foot traffic.
    • Pretty much

      Sony sold off their PC business, they ended their ebook business and shifted the customers to Kobo, they're spinning off the TV console business into a seperate entity (the better to sell it off if need be) and closing most of their stores.

      Their only bright spots remain their insurance business, and the movie and music studio.
      But their days as a consumer gadget company are close to being completely over.

      Too many years of incompetent management and missing trend after trend will do that.
      • Not just insurance.

        Sony's Android phones and tablets are actually making them a pretty healthy profit. In fact, even when mobile decision was being weighed down by its inclusions of the loss making Vaio brand it was making the company money, so after it's sale they'll be doing even better.
  • Thanks To Microsoft, The Entire PC Industry Is Not Far Behind Sony

    No one wants Windows 8... end of story!

    To use a Jobsian expression, MS is flummoxed.

    Window 8 is so bad that users (and even MS) are suffering from PTSD soley because of it.

    It's like MS can't dig themselves out of the hole, because the more they dig the deeper it gets.

    At this point, George Zimmerman enjoys a better reputation than Microsoft.

    Nothing good comes from being a greedy, lazy, arrogant monopolist!
    • orandy the fake; nothing but a troll. A phony, only here for the attention.

      Seriously, nobody can be as idiotic as you make yourself come off. I've heard of people being self deprecating, but they normally don't do it to the level of incompetent, or brain damaged.

      You have to be some foolish, court jest parody of something, because you sound as though you're either trying to comprehend something far above your level of understanding (a cave man watching at a jet fighter springs to mind)

      Or maybe you really do suffer from a mental condition of some sort, as I find it hard to believe that a normal, well balanced person would really get any enjoyment from sitting at home, alone, friendless, posting things time and time again they know to be false just to be heard, to be noticed.

      Please stop back after your 16th birthday when you're ready to act like an adult, once you've outgrown that stupid court jester routine you seem to have adopted.
    • Was not about Windows 8

      I doubt Windows 8 helped, but Sony's failings started long before Windows 8. They have had far too much competition in TV's, and that led to reduced margins. The PC market has started to shrink with other platforms like tablets and smartphones. Its not a market that shows big promise in good margins anymore. Apple feeling that same pinch as iPad's have taken sales from Macs. Most likely TV's will be another area of shrinkage and that won't be Microsoft's fault either.
  • Is Apple next?

    One has to wonder if Apple some day will follow Sony of which Apple modeled itself under.
    Sony simply failed to keep enough loyalty among customers who frequently choose cheaper models of products over Sony's. I think everyone saw Sony hurting because of competition and now we know it was significant enough to jettison the Vaio premium Sony brand of PC's.
    As consumers find less of a need for expensive products and choose cheaper products that seem to satisfy their requirement. I have to wonder if Apple will succumb to being just a smaller tech company selling premium products to the 1%?
    • Apple and their stores will be fine.

      I think you nailed it with "Sony simply failed to keep enough loyalty among customers who frequently choose cheaper models of products over Sony's."

      Apple doesn't have that issue.

      Sony was in denial for some years there, IMHO. They let MS catch up, even surpass them with Xbox, they let companies like Samsung, Sharp, and Panasonic capture large parts of the Flat panel TV market, started losing in high end electronics.

      I felt that as their products were definitely ahead of their competitors, they may have felt that people would always be willing to pay a higher premium for Sony.

      But once other technology companies got to a point of putting out products that were really, really close, but at half the price, it was down hill from there.
      • Flag?

        Who would flag Will's comment? That I cannot understand.
        • Oh, btw, there's anothe Japanese company making the same kind of mistakes,

          and it's also a giant, and that company is....

          wait for it....


          are you ready?


          Their quality control is so poor that, the quality of Toyota vehicles is suffering, and they've had more recalls of their vehicles than any other car maker. Plus, they still think that their cars should be selling for premium prices, like Sony or Apple.

          Toyota hasn't suffered big sales losses, not yet. But, people do tend to remember poor quality and the number of recalls in the news on a weekly or monthly basis does make people think 2 or 3 times before turning away. I went car shopping for a new car 3 months ago, and I close to deciding on a Rav4, but, I also kept in mind the number of recalls of their vehicles, and decided against Toyota altogether.
      • Oh, I don't know. The symptoms and problems that Sony exhibited a while

        back, and that eventually became the undoing of Sony, are exactly the same that Apple exhibits now.

        Just replace "Sony" with "Apple" in your comments, and you'll see where Apple is headed.
  • To be fair, those are expensive stores

    I'm familiar with the three New York locations. All three are in affluent areas, and thus, I am certain that their rent must be astronomical. I can't imagine those three stores bringing THAT much money in, either directly through sales or indirectly through mindshare, to make it worth it to keep them open.

    As for Sony itself, Sony used to have the reputation of being the highest quality at the highest price. Then, they started getting a bit flimsy on construction. They tried locking in people to their ecosystem (e.g. Minidisc, ATRAC3, etc.), but failed. LG, Samsung, and others started making products that were either 99% as good at 70% of the price, or 90% as good at 50% of the price. With the exception of Playstation games and accessories, they never built a real ecosystem around their products, and never built a reason for loyalty - a Playstation will not work any better connected to a Sony TV than it will to a Samsung. Sony also lost their edge by ditching backward compatibility with previous-generation games; it lost them an edge they could have had against Microsoft and Nintendo.

    Ultimately, I think Sony can win hearts back. They still have a solid place in the current-gen console war, and they still have some loyalists in the pro video and broadcast fields. If they either focus on the complete user experience the way Apple does or drop their prices to levels approaching Samsung, they may be able to remain competitive. However, they seem to be of the persuasion that people will buy them "Because Sony", and THAT is patently false.

    • I should have read your post first

      I pretty much said much of the same thing you did, :)
  • Two words: China crap.

    Sony and the other "old money" tech leviathans alienated their core fan base at the end of the 1990s when outsourcing production to Taiwan and the "Middle Kingdom" became all the rage. This worked, for a while, to expand their product lines down to more... "pedestrian" buyers. However, in the end it resulted in ALL of them cannibalizing each-other in a race for the bottom.

    At its lowest point, Sony, which had been the undisputed KING of television in the 1970s-1990s with the Trinitron tube business was later seen with a faltered plasma business (too late to the game, and using NEC/Fujitsu panels anyway) holding the proverbial coffee can like a beggar to Samsung or anyone else who would co-produce panels with them for LCDs. Quality slipped, with a few bright spots here and there (HX9xx series) and mostly a subpar performance compared to their competitors.

    This wasn't just Sony. Panasonic, JVC (how many JVC products do you even SEE anymore?) and even Toshiba, who had really envy producing products like the original Libretto back in the '90s, all began to tread water as their race to the bottom came back to bite them in the a**. Sure, you could argue that there wasn't much growth in the high end of the market, but letting the bottom fall out was no better. And, as companies like McIntosh have proven, you can cater to a higher end clientele and still eek out just enough profit to remain viable.

    I frequently used to visit the stores in the International Mall in Tampa (now shut down) and the outlet in San Antonio and there was always something awe inspiring and well made. Now it's all plastic China garbage reminiscent of the GPX days of the past.

    Sony's days as a consumer electronics juggernaut are numbered. But so are those of their competitors.