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Reuters, Published January 30 2014

Best Buy Canada to cut 950 jobs

TORONTO - Best Buy Canada will cut about 950 full-time jobs, the electronic retailer said on Thursday, as it restructures its operations in part to support online sales growth.

Parent company Best Buy Co said earlier this month holiday sales were disappointing and warned of a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly operating margins.

The world's largest consumer electronics chain blamed intense discounting by rivals, tight supplies of phones and high-end tablets industry-wide, as well as weak traffic during the holiday period.

Best Buy Canada said it will merge its Future Shop and Best Buy sales departments and cut management levels at both brands across the country.

The company, which has 265 locations across Canada, said online sales have grown by more than 50 percent in the past year and new services such as in-store pickup have more than doubled.

Best Buy shares hit their weakest level since April, and were down 3.5 percent at $23.16 in New York mid-afternoon on Thursday.