Eight Future Shop and seven Best Buy stores closing
People walk in the parking lot of a Best Buy store during a severe snow storm in North Olmsted, Ohio Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:53PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:34PM EST
BURNABY, B.C. -- Best Buy Canada has closed eight Future Shop and seven Best Buy big box stores across the country.
The company says as part of its "transformational plan" it will open Future Shop small concept web stores and Best Buy Mobile locations across Canada in the next two and a half years.
"This move will enable the company to better serve its customers in both more locations and smaller markets across the country," the company said in a release.
It adds the closures are part of its efforts to "reduce unnecessary costs, eliminate redundant operating systems and to optimize its real estate strategy to reflect... a changing retail landscape."
Some 900 employees will be laid off because of the closures, representing less than five per cent of Best Buy Canada's workforce, a spokeswoman said.
Best Buy has been facing tough competition from discounters and online retailers, a victim of what's known as "showrooming" -- when people browse in stores and then buy the products more cheaply online from competitors such as Amazon.
Best Buy Canada says it continues to operate more than 120 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations along with over 140 Future Shop stores across the country.
In Quebec, the windows at the Sherbrooke outlet were covered in paper and a sign there announced the closure.
Employees arrived for their shift Thursday morning and were met by security guards and closed doors. They did not receive advance notice of a closure.
The company says five Best Buy stores in British Columbia -- Queensborough, Nanaimo, Victoria, Langford (Westshore Town Centre), and South Surrey -- and two in Quebec -- Lachenaie, and Sherbrooke (SmartCentres Sherbrooke) -- are closing immediately.
The eight Future Shop stores closing immediately are in British Columbia (West Kelowna), Quebec (Montreal and Laval), Manitoba (Regent), Alberta (Calgary), and Ontario (Ancaster, Barrie South and Erin Mills).
The two companies are both owned by Best Buy Co. Inc., the American consumer electronics giant (NYSE:BBY) that controls nearly 20 per cent of the American market.