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Best Buy cutting 2,400 jobs as it changes tactics

NEW YORK — Best Buy Co. will cut 2,400 jobs, or about 1.4 percent of its workforce, starting immediately, according to a person familiar with the plans.

About 600 Geek Squad tech support jobs will be eliminated along with 1,800 store positions by Aug. 1, said the person, who declined to be identified because the plans are private. Those eliminated will qualify for job-placement assistance and severance packages, the person said.

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Best Buy is trying to thwart the so-called showrooming phenomenon — in which customers try out gadgets in a store and then buy them online — by adopting Apple-style minimalism rather than its traditional big-box approach.

Best Buy also is remaking the Geek Squad. Technicians will staff in-store booths to fix simple problems — think Genius Bar — instead of providing service in customers’ homes. The Geek Squad job cuts will affect only technicians who provide in-home service, said the person.

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