Yevroset Could Shutter 100 Stores

Yevroset, the country's largest handset retailer, may close up to 100 retail outlets in December because of high rent costs, company vice president Artyom Perevozhikov said in a statement Tuesday.

The company already closed 60 retail outlets in November.

Yevroset chairman Yevgeny Chichvarkin first hinted at massive closures at a conference last week, citing dipping sales.

Perevozhikov said the company would continue cutting the number of retail outlets. Further closures would affect only those outlets where landlords refused to reduce rent, he said.

Perevozhikov said some landlords had already heeded the company's appeal and slashed rent by as much as 40 percent.

"Landlords understand that if we close down our stores, it is improbable they'll find a replacement soon."

Yevroset currently operates over 5,100 retail outlets across Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

The company's turnover last year was $5.6 billion.