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updated 4/1/2004 7:14:19 PM ET 2004-04-02T00:14:19

Gateway Inc. said on Thursday it will close its 188 retail stores and eliminate about 2,500 retail positions, the biggest move the personal computer and consumer electronics maker has made since it bought eMachines Inc.

Poway, Calif.-based Gateway said that it was also pursuing wider retail distribution of its PCs, digital cameras, flat-panel TVs and other products in the United States and abroad. The company, which had before buying eMachines embarked on remodeling the stores, was not more specific.

The 188 stores will close on April 9. The company recently posted its 12th loss in 13 quarters.

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