February 28, 2001 7:50 AM PST

Buy.com cuts staff in half in restructuring bid

Internet superstore Buy.com on Wednesday announced a restructuring plan designed to reduce cash operating expenses by eliminating some 125 positions, or about 55 percent of its staff of 230.

As first reported by CNET News.com, this move marks the second round of job cuts in less than a month for the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based online retailer.

The restructuring plan will change the outlook provided by the company earlier this month regarding its operating plan for 2001, Buy.com said.

The measures are intended to save the e-tailer $29 million annually. The layoffs, when paired with other actions already under way, including the outsourcing of services, are expected to reduce the company's total annual operating expenses by $70 million, the company said.

Buy.com projects a pretax charge in the range of $32 million to $37 million in the first quarter in connection with the restructuring plan. In addition to the work force reduction, the plan includes exiting the golf business acquired from buygolf.com and shuttering the company's sporting goods store.

To maintain its leadership position in the e-commerce arena, the company "had to make difficult decisions in order to advance our goal of becoming profitable," Buy.com CEO James Roszak said in a statement.

Roszak said he is confident about Buy.com's "ability to continue to provide our customers with a superior shopping experience while delivering competitive prices for a broad range of high quality products on the Internet."

The company offers its nearly 3.5 million customers a wide range of wares including computer hardware and software, electronics, wireless products and services, books and sporting goods.

Executives at Buy.com could not immediately be reached for further comment.


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