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Wilsons Will Close Most of Its Stores

Minneapolis Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. will close the majority of its 260 mall locations and cut more than 1,000 jobs, the company said Friday.

Wilsons will keep 100 stores open, revamping them under its new “Studio” concept, which is focused on fashion accessories from major brands for women. All stores should be remodeled by August.

About 938 store-related jobs and 64 positions at the company's corporate headquarters, overseas offices and distribution center in Brooklyn Park, Minn., will be cut. Wilsons' 120 outlet stores will not be affected.

"We expect the cost reduction initiative will enable us to reduce our working capital needs and strengthen our business, as well as provide capital for our remodel efforts to convert all remaining mall stores into our new 'Studio' concept," said Mike Searles, company chief executive, in a statement.

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