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Published: Friday, 4/2/2004

Gateway to close its 188 stores, cut 2,500 jobs

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
The company has operated a Gateway Country 2000 computer store at 5236 Monroe St. in Sylvania Township since the fall of 1998.
The company has operated a Gateway Country 2000 computer store at 5236 Monroe St. in Sylvania Township since the fall of 1998.
MORRISON / BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

Personal computer giant Gateway Inc. said yesterday it would close all 188 of its stores nationwide and eliminate about 2,500 retail positions.

The company has operated a Gateway Country 2000 computer store at 5236 Monroe St. in Sylvania since the fall of 1998.

The computer maker, which is based in the San Diego suburb of Poway, Calif., said its stores will be shut April 9 and workers will be dismissed as the store operations wind down.

A sales manager at the Monroe Street store declined last night to comment or to say how many employees the store has. Gateway, which recently posted its 12th loss in 13 quarters, said it was exploring other retail options to sell its products. The company has been struggling in a PC market dominated by Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

Gateway's stores have long been criticized by analysts and investors as an expensive drag on cash flow because of lease costs and the difficulty of managing inventories.

In a move to expand its revenues, Gateway had introduced plasma-screen televisions, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics into its product line.

Gateway, which this week announced it will move its headquarters north to Orange County, was founded in 1985.



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