Best Buy, Future Shop stores closed, hundreds of jobs axed

Best Buy Canada has closed eight Future Shop and seven Best Buy stores across Canada, including six locations in B.C.

Best Buy Canada has closed eight Future Shop and seven Best Buy stores across Canada, including six locations in B.C.

Best Buy workers across Canada reportedly turned up for work Thursday to find shuttered stores and security guards. They had no advance warning of the closures.

The company has closed five Best Buy stores in B.C., including in Surrey, New Westminster (Queensborough), Victoria, Nanaimo and Langford. The West Kelowna Future Shop store has also been closed.

The closures, which are permanent, are part of a move away from the big box store format to smaller retail operations and web sales portals. The closures will put 900 people out of work Canada-wide – about 5% of the company's Canadian workforce.

The closures follow last year's dismal financial performance by the company's American parent, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY).

"Over the next 36 months, Best Buy will move into the second phase of the 'Renew Blue' strategy and plans to open state-of-the-art new Future Shop small-concept web stores and new Best Buy mobile locations across Canada, where and when appropriate," the company said in a press release.

"The move was based on an extensive review of Best Buy's retail footprint in Canada in an effort to reduce unnecessary costs, eliminate redundant operating systems and to optimize its real estate strategy to reflect a more a changing retail landscape."

The company continues to operate more than 120 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations and 140 Future Shop stores across the country.

Best Buy Canada is B.C. second largest private company. In 2011, Best Buy Canada employed 19,944 people, including 4,042 in B.C.

Best Buy's shares were trading up 2.26% Thursday – a $0.36 increase – to close at $16.26.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv

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