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Best Buy to cut jobs, demote store staff

  |   April 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM
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RICHFIELD , Minn., April 16 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Best Buy Co. has told employees it will cut jobs and demote managers and senior level sales personnel to adjust to weak consumer spending.

The company would not disclose numbers affected by the restructuring, but investment firm Sanford Bernstein estimated pay reductions of 25 percent to 50 percent were in store for 8,000 senior sales personnel, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported Thursday.

About 1,000 managers would be cut but could apply for sales positions, the Star Tribune said.

Sanford Bernstein researcher Colin McGranahan said Best Buy's reduction of 750 staff members at corporate headquarters previously this year meant the company could approach store personnel and say "we've already tightened our belt … now it's your turn."

McGranahan said Best Buy would make up the wage difference to demoted personnel for three quarters before reducing their pay to match their new jobs.

Company spokesman Justin Barber, however, would not confirm that plan, the newspaper said.

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