Windstream closes half its brick-and-mortar stores

Independent rural telco Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) appears to be making a major shift away from its brick-and-mortar retail strategy, as it announced the closing of about 30 Windstream retail stores across 11 states.

The number of stores closing represents about half of the telco's total retail footprint. Not surprisingly, Windstream acknowledged that the reasoning behind the closings had to do with the fact that increasing numbers of customers prefer to shop and pay bills for technology and services online.

About 60 employees total are being affected by the store closures, which are occurring in Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. The stores affected will be closed by the end of next month, the company said.

Expect the ongoing retail strategy to be one of the topics of discussion that crops up during Windstream's fourth quarter earnings call on Feb. 21. The telco earlier this month saw Moody's demote its rating to negative as it seeks to refinance a debt package, but the company also has had recent success riding acquisitions such as its purchase of PAETEC to greater strength in the business market, particularly in newer segments like SIP trunking.

For more:
- see this Arkansas Business post

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