Some locations to convert into Best Buys over coming weeks
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
On March 28, shoppers across Canada learned Future Shop had closed 66 locations, with another 65 to be rebranded as Best Buys.
No prior public announcements had been given about the brand’s closure, with “This store is permanently closed” signs on Future Shop doors serving as notice. Reportedly roughly 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs were lost as a result of the closures.
CBC reported numerous staff did not know about the plans until the morning of the closures, with some staff being offered other options with Future Shop’s parent company, Best Buy. Other staff were reportedly told they’d have to “reapply” to Best Buy to continue working.
In an open letter from Best Buy Canada, Best Buy president and CEO Ron Wilson made comments about the closure. “Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly; our first priority is to support them through this change. I want to express my appreciation to the employees who are leaving, for their contributions to Best Buy Canada.”
The reason provided in the open letter for the closures was that in an already competitive market for sales of electronic items, Best Buy found their financial situation would benefit by removing the Future Shop brand and focussing solely on promoting Best Buy locations. However, in the meantime, there would be an increase in costs as numerous former-Future Shop stores are restructured and staff numbers are sorted out.
“As a result of today’s announcements, Best Buy Co., Inc. expects to increase its capital spending by up to $200-million over the next 12 to 24 months.”
“Due to the transitional nature of the majority of these costs, the company does not expect this negative EPS impact to continue into future years.”
Earlier this year, Target closed all of its Canada-based locations after sales numbers were not being met, amongst other reasons. Sony stores across the country announced their closure soon after. Clothing store brand Jacob is also in the process of closing its 92 store locations in Canada, while Reitmans announced closures of numerous Smart Set locations in November 2014.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s Comark Inc. is in the process of closing Ricki’s, Bootlegger, and Cleo locations while the parent company is working on a restructuring plan for it businesses.
Those with Future Shop gift cards can still redeem them at Best Buys, as well as those wishing to exchange or return previous Future Shop purchases.