Rosetta Stone closing US kiosks, cutting 245 jobs

Rosetta Stone says it will close last 56 US kiosks, cut 245 jobs as part of online shift

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- Language software company Rosetta Stone Inc. said Thursday that it will close its last 56 U.S. kiosk locations as it shifts to a fully online business model. It will cut around 245 jobs as part of the move.

Rosetta Stone will eliminate about 45 full-time jobs and 200 part-time positions. The company had 879 full-time and 671 part-time employees at the end of last year.

Rosetta Stone is increasing its focus on online sales and digital downloads. On Tuesday it bought online language-learning company Livemocha for $8.5 million. It noted that Livemocha has more than 16 million users around the world and its services are cheaper than Rosetta Stone's own products. Rosetta Stone's software can cost hundreds of dollars.

On Thursday Rosetta Stone said it is speeding up a transition to cloud-based services. Cloud computing, a growing technology trend, involves subscriptions to software that can be accessed on any Internet-connected device rather than installed on an individual's computer.

Most of the company's kiosks are in malls and airports. It will still have some kiosks outside the U.S. At the end of 2012 it had 26 locations in South Korea, three in Japan and one in the U.K.

Shares of Rosetta Stone rose 10 cents to close at $15.87. The stock peaked at $15.96 on Thursday, its highest price since mid-2011.

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