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Cablevision Systems Corp., owner of The Wiz electronics chain, said Tuesday it will close all three of its Queens stores along with 23 others in New York and New Jersey in an effort to slash unprofitable parts of its business.
The discount electronics chain will hold clearance sales at all branches that are closing, including stores at 39-11 Main St. in Flushing, 31-90 Steinway St. in Astoria, and 96-30 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.
The stores will close sometime over the next two months, said Laura Conover, a spokeswoman for The Wiz.
Five stores will close in Brooklyn, two in Manhattan, one in Staten Island, six in Long Island, one upstate, and seven in New Jersey, The Wiz said. Seventeen stores will remain open because they are profitable, said Conover.
Earlier this month, Cablevision announced that 26 stores would be closed, but it did not specify which ones. The company also reported then that in the second quarter of this year revenue from The Wiz stores fell 15 percent compared with the same period in 2001.
An employee at one Queens branch who chose to remain anonymous expressed disappointment that jobs probably would be lost and said he did not know if the company would offer him a position in another store.
Conover made no promises, but said, were hopeful that were going to be able to incorporate more employees into the 17 remaining stores.
When Cablevision first announced stores would be shut down, it said the closings were part of a larger plan to ensure the companys financial health in the coming years. Cablevision said it was trying to redirect capital to profitable areas of its business.
At the time Cablevision President and Chief Executive James Dolan said the company has developed a more conservative plan that we expect will provide, stability, clarity, and steady growth across all of its operations.
Cablevision acquired The Wiz in 1998 out of bankruptcy and used it as a tool to market Cablevision products, mainly Optimum Online high-speed Internet service.
Reach reporter Brendan Browne by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 155.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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