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Magnolia AV Cuts Staff, Closes Seven Stores

Richfield, MN — Magnolia Audio Video said Thursday that it will lay off roughly half its employees, close its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Kent, and shut down seven West Coast retail stores.

In total, 184 jobs will be eliminated from a 345-person work force.

The cuts will be completed by the end of the month, according to the company. All 82 jobs in Kent, Washington, will be eliminated, as will about 100 in the seven stores being closed, two of which are in the Seattle area.

The company’s other six stores, all of them on the West Coast, will remain open. Of those, one is in Bellevue, Washington, and one is in the Roosevelt neighborhood. Also remaining open will be the Roosevelt Design Center in Seattle and all 350 Magnolia Home Theater locations within Best Buy Stores across the U.S.

The company also said it plans to open a Magnolia store in Chicago this year.

Best Buy Co. of Richfield, Minnesota, bought Magnolia Hi-Fi in 2000. Magnolia Hi-Fi changed its named to Magnolia Audio Video in September 2003. At its peak, Magnolia, named after the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, operated 21 stores on the West Coast.

As part of the changes announced Thursday, Magnolia will be managed from Best Buy’s headquarters. Distribution will be managed from Best Buy facilities in Renton. The company will maintain both the Magnolia Audio Video and the Magnolia Home Theater brands, it said.