- - Sunday, April 15, 2012

RICHFIELD — Best Buy on Saturday announced the locations of 50 stores that it will be closing this year, including seven in California, six in Illinois and six in the company’s home state of Minnesota.

The struggling electronics chain said last month that it would close some of its so-called big-box stores, cut 400 corporate jobs and trim $800 million in costs. Best Buy plans to open 100 smaller, more profitable Best Buy Mobile stores.

The company is trying to avoid the fate of Circuit City, which went out of business in 2009. It faces slower sales of expensive items such as TVs, plus increased competition from Amazon.com and discount stores such as Target.

Best Buy has about 1,400 locations in the United States. It already has closed two stores this year, one in Missouri and one in Arizona. Most of the rest of the 50 will close May 12, others this summer.

Best Buy said it would try to find other jobs in the company for the workers.

On Tuesday, Best Buy said CEO Brian Dunn had resigned after the board of directors began investigating his “personal conduct.” The company lost $1.7 billion in the most recent quarter, partly because of restructuring costs.


Organic farmers push states for labeling laws

HARTFORD — Many organic farmers are pushing for state laws that require labeling of genetically modified food from industrial producers because it could help the farmers’ sales.

Eighteen states are considering such legislation, even though no study says genetically modified food is unhealthy or unsafe. Many legislators say labeling would simply give consumers more information about what they are eating.

Several organic growers say their business benefits from increased consumer scrutiny of agribusiness and rising demand for locally grown food. They say labeling would establish a bright line between their products and those of big growers.

Connecticut lawmakers were the first to advance a measure out of a committee last month, but avoided taking sides in the argument about whether genetically modified food has an impact on health. Legislators say they want to provide more consumer information.


Soros lectures Germany on eurozone policy

BERLIN — Billionaire investor George Soros has called on Germany to contribute more to help save the euro, according to an interview published in the weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

“The Germans should decide if they want the euro or not. If so, they have to carry out financial transfers. If not, they should leave the eurozone,” said Mr. Soros, also a major philanthropist and author.

If Germany ditches the eurozone, its exports would suffer as the “new German currency would find itself at a high value.”

Mr. Soros blamed the German government and Bundesbank for putting the euro in peril over their insistence on austerity and price stability.

“Saving and monitoring price stability worked in Germany and is leading to, in current conditions, bad luck for Europe,” he said.

The eurozone has come under severe pressure amid alarm over the state of public finances of countries including Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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