Bose to shutter 119 stores across Australia, North America, Europe, and Japan

The headphone maker says most of its sales come via online, anyway.

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Image: Bose

Bose has announced it will be closing retail stores in many markets across the globe, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The company on Thursday said it will be closing 119 of its "remaining" stores in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia over the next few months.

About 130 stores will remain open in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates, as well as additional stores in India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.

In a statement, Bose cited "the dramatic shift to online shopping", noting that its products "are increasingly purchased through e-commerce".

"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.

"At the time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it -- and we're doing the same thing now."

Burke continued by saying it was a difficult decision that impacts the company's store teams.

Bose said it will offer outplacement assistance and severance to affected employees. But the company is keeping additional details, including the number of employees affected, private.  

The headphone maker opened its first retail store in the United States in 1993.

The company said the store was opened to provide personal, private demonstrations for Wave music systems and Lifestyle home theatre systems.

"As smartphones changed the industry, the company's focus turned to mobile, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi solutions," Bose said. "Today, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, truly wireless sport earbuds, portable speakers, and smart speakers are increasingly purchased through e-commerce, including Bose.com; and Bose is a larger multi-national company, with a localised mix of channels tailored for a country or region."

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