The high-end electronics manufacturer announced that it is closing 119 retail stores worldwide in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. The company will continue to operate around 130 stores in China, the United Arab Emirates, India and some Asian countries.
Bose did not disclose how many employees were affected by the moves, but announced that they would be fired. Colette Burke, vice president of global sales at Bose, said the decision was "difficult" and the company was "grateful" for its store employees.
"Originally, our retail stores gave people the opportunity to experience, test, and talk to multi-component CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems," said Burke. "It was a radical idea at the time, but we focused on what our customers needed and where they needed it – and we're doing the same now."
The closings illustrate the likelihood of another brutal year for retailers. In 2019, U.S. retailers announced the closure of 9,302 stores, an increase of 59% from 2018 and the highest number since Coresight Research began collecting data in 2012.
Online sales today account for around 16% of retail sales, but will increase to 25% by 2026, UBS analysts estimated in a research report. UBS estimates that this could lead to a further 75,000 closings by 2026, including around 20,000 clothing stores and up to 10,000 consumer electronics stores.
CNN Business’s Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.