The Future Shop has closed for good - Canada's largest electronics store and part of the Canadian landscape for the past 33 years. It is a sad day, but one that many saw coming when Best Buy purchased the Canadian retailer back in 2001 for $580 million. It was all very abrupt, many customers talked to the retailer last night about exchanging some goods, and when they showed up at the store in the morning, they were shocked to see it closed.
The company said that 65 Future Shops would close for a week and then re-open as Best Buy stores. Another 66 stores, located close to current Best Buy stores will simply close permanently - it does not make sense to have a Future Shop and Best Buy within walking distance or a short drive from one another. Ron Wilson, President and COO of Best Buy Canada said, "Currently, 80 per cent of our customers are within a 15 minute drive to a store and this won't change. We will continue to have a strong store presence in all major markets in Canada." After all is said and done, Best Buy will have 192 locations across Canada, and 56 dedicated mobile stores.
This will eliminate 500 full-time jobs and 1,000 part-time jobs, however, Best Buy said that those let go will receive a severance package, employee assistance and outplacement support, although no details were given. Mr. Wilson said in a press release, "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."
While it may inconvenience past Future Shop customers for a while, Best Buy is accepting all Future Shop gift cards at in-store locations as well as online at BestBuy.ca. Any existing product orders done through Future Shops, service appointments and warranties will be honored through Best Buy. Products purchased through Future Shops that need to be returned or exchanged will be accepted at Best Buy stores as well. While a bitter pill to swallow for some individuals, it is nice that Best Buy is doing all that it can to honor Future Store transactions.