Bang & Olufsen shuttering shops as AV sales stumble

Bang & Olufsen will shutter up to 125 stores across Europe in an attempt to save money, the Danish style merchant has confirmed, after retail sales of the company's high-design A/V products failed to keep pace with its automotive deals. Sales grew 5.5-percent year on year in September to November 2012, B&O announced, but that was predominantly down to in-car audio tie-ins with Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, and other marques, rather than its more traditional media player and TV range.

In fact, revenue for the three months was DKK 819m ($146m), up from DKK 776m for the same period a year ago, but earnings were down to DKK 22m ($3.9m), hurt particularly by higher amortisation charges. Consumer device sales revenues in Europe and North America grew, up 12-percent and 2-percent respectively, but slumped elsewhere, down 22-percent.

While it will be closing multiple under-performing stores, B&O also intends to open some itself, picking "key locations" where it believes sales will be healthier. However, the number of closings is still expected to be higher than the number of openings.

The shuffling is part of B&O's previously-announced "Leaner, Faster, Stronger" strategy, though the company now warns that the restructuring will take a year longer than previously expected. This specific round of closures will take place over a 12-18 month period.

[via What HiFi]