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Future Shop stores closed across Canada

by Sean P. Aune | March 28, 2015March 28, 2015 3:00 pm PDT

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Best Buy Canada announces the consolidation of Future Shop and Best Buy stores and websites under the Best Buy brand – Best Buy Canada

March 28, 2015 | Burnaby, BC

BURNABY, BC – March 28, 2015 – To strengthen its position as Canada’s leading provider of consumer electronics products, services and solutions, Best Buy Canada, a subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) – which owns and operates both Best Buy and Future Shop stores – today announced it is consolidating the Future Shop and Best Buy stores and websites under the Best Buy brand and unveiled an ambitious plan to build a leading multi-channel customer experience.

Best Buy Canada also announced today it has reviewed its real estate footprint to address the fact that a significant number of its Future Shop and Best Buy stores are located adjacent to each other, often in the same parking lot. The result of this review is the closure of 66 Future Shop locations, effective today. Concurrently, an additional 65 Future Shop stores will be temporarily closed for one week as they begin their transition to the Best Buy brand. The company will now have a total of 192 locations across Canada, including 136 large-format stores and 56 Best Buy Mobile stores.

“Currently, 80 per cent of our customers are within a 15 minute drive to a store and this won’t change,” said Ron Wilson, President and COO of Best Buy Canada. “We will continue to have a strong store presence in all major markets in Canada.”

As a result of this consolidation, approximately 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time positions will be eliminated. The affected employees will receive severance, employee assistance and outplacement support.

“Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly; our first priority is to support them through this change,” Wilson said. “I want to express my appreciation to the employees who are leaving, for their contributions to Best Buy Canada.”

Providing a seamless customer experience to all Future Shop and Best Buy customers is a key focus throughout this transition. All Future Shop gift cards will be accepted at any Best Buy Canada location and at BestBuy.ca. Existing product orders, service appointments and warranties will continue to be honoured and Future Shop purchases to be returned or exchanged will also be accepted at any Best Buy. For information on store changes and opening dates, customers are encouraged to visit our store locator. Customers with any questions can visit BestBuy.ca/questions or call 1-866-BEST-BUY (1-866-237-8289). Customers who visit FutureShop.ca will be guided to BestBuy.ca.

Looking ahead, investments of up to $200 million dollars will be made in Best Buy stores and BestBuy.ca, to build a leading multi-channel customer experience. This multi-faceted strategy will include: (1) launching major home appliances in all stores; (2) working with our vendor partners to bring their products to life in a more compelling way; (3) increasing our staffing levels to better serve our customers; (4) investing in the online shopping experience, for example by expanding in-store pick-up areas for online customers and launching a ship-from-store program, making in-store inventory available to online customers across the country.

FutureShop

After 33 years in business, all Future Shop locations in Canada have been closed.

Purchased by Best Buy Canada in 2001 for $580 million, Future Shop still had 131 locations spread across Canada. At a 7 a.m. meeting this morning at each location, it was announced that all stores were closed effective immediately. Best Buy Canada will be remodeling 65 of the stores to become locations for its brand while the remaining 66 are closed permanently. As for the employees, 500 full-time employees were let go along with 1,000 part-timers.

An employee speaking on the condition of anonymity with radio station CFPL said, “We had no idea this was going to happen as of today. We had a feeling something was going to happen, but we didn’t think it would be as immediate as today.”

Ron Wilson, President and COO of Best Buy Canada said of the closures, “Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly; our first priority is to support them through this change.” He went on to add, “I want to express my appreciation to the employees who are leaving, for their contributions to Best Buy Canada.”

General questions about the closure are detailed on the Future Shop website, but as to outstanding gift cards and returns, all of those will be handled by any Best Buy Canada location for the time being.

Including the Future Shop locations that will be remodeled, this will bring the total of Best Buy Canada locations to 192, including 136 full-service stores and 56 Best Buy Mobile locations.

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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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