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Gateway, Inc. said Thursday that it plans to close all of its 188 Gateway retail stores by April 9.

The move, which had been predicted as a fallout of the company’s merger with eMachines Inc., will serve as an important step toward reducing Gateway’s cost structure, analysts said. Gateway said it still plans “wider retail distribution” of its products both in the U.S. and abroad, and will continue to sell products via its web site and through its 1-800-GATEWAY number.

As a result of Gateway’s decision, approximately 2,500 retail positions will be eliminated during the month of April as store operations wind down, the company said. More details on the company’s strategy will be announced when the electronics retailer announces its first quarter results on April 29.

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