Consumer electronics retailer Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. plans to consolidate and reinvest its resources to expand on its popular "Consumer Electronics (CE) Playground" concept stores. The restructuring will include closing 49 stores and 2 regional facilities and laying off more than 600 employees.
Tweeter will leave certain regions of the U.S., closing stores in California, Tennessee, Alabama, New York, and most of Georgia within 2 to 3 months. The retailer forecast that it will move from 153 stores and U.S. $735 million in revenue, to 104 go-forward stores and $555 million in revenue based on 2006 reported revenues. It said the restructuring dramatically improves its profitability and cash flow. It recently signed letters of intent to enter into two new store leases in North Carolina and expects to open its eighth and ninth CE Playground stores in Charlotte in late summer/early fall of 2007.
The restructuring plan includes a significant reinvestment in its people, including training, coaching and education; structural changes to enhance the efficiency of store managers; and streamlined sales tools to deliver better customer service.
Tweeter is also creating a new field position. Each store region will have a field trainer who will assess the individual skill sets of each associate in their respective region, and work with that associate to improve skills. Field trainers will use specifically written modules and library curriculum as resources to conduct this extremely personalized, pointed training.
The Tweeter Design Studio (TDS) will roll out in April and be available in all 104 go-forward stores by the middle of this summer. This software tool has been under development for 2 years and is unique to Tweeter. It will enable Tweeter's sales associates to give a polished proposal to a customer in a fraction of the time it takes today. It is said to deliver "bullet-proof" engineered and designed systems that will work as advertised.
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