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Best Buy To Close All Of Its 250 Mobile-phone Stores In U.S. By End Of May

Best Buy Co. said Wednesday it will be closing all of its 250 mobile-phone stores in the U.S. by end of May.

The retailer said the cellphone business is no longer as lucrative as it was when the company began opening the small shops in malls across the country. The shops, which are only a fraction of the size of a typical Best Buy location, are now more expensive to operate than a big-box store, it said.

"We began to open them more than a decade ago, before the iPhone was even launched," Chief Executive Hubert Joly wrote in a letter to employees on Wednesday. "Fast forward to 2018 and the mobile-phone business has matured, margins have compressed and the cost of operations in our Mobile stand-alone stores is higher than in our Big Box stores."

Joly said sales from the mobile stores represent a little more than 1% of overall company revenue.

Best Buy had about 1,000 big-box stores in the U.S. as of January 2017. It had about 150 big-box stores and 50 Mobile stores in Mexico and Canada.

The retailer said it will continue to sell mobile phones through its big box stores and online. The decision does not impact the company's mobile stores in Canada.

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