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Rakuten Mobile shutters 20% of stores in bid to reach profit goal

Struggling discount carrier resorts to employee connections for new customers

Rakuten said it will be closing about 200 of its branches located in post offices like the one above. (Photo courtesy of the company)

TOKYO -- Rakuten Group will shutter 20% of its mobile phone stores, the Japanese technology conglomerate announced Friday, as it scrambles to meet profitability goals for this year.

The number of locations will be reduced from 1,261 to about 1,000. The stores to be closed are all located inside post offices, where Rakuten had set up application counters to take advantage of the capital and business alliance with Japan Post Group. The company had counters in 280 post offices.

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