Updated: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 21:39:13 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

15 Future Shop and Best Buy stores to be closed



15 Future Shop and Best Buy stores to be closed

Best Buy Canada plans to close seven of its big box locations across Canada and close eight Future Shop stores across the country.

As part of a restructuring plan, the B.C.-based retailer announced the plan to "optimize the company’s retail footprint" in a statement Thursday.

The company says the following locations are affected:

- New Westminster, B.C. (Queensborough)

- Nanaimo, B.C.

- Victoria, B.C.

- Langford, B.C (Westshore Town Centre)

- Surrey, B.C.

- Lachenaie, Que.

- Sherbrooke, Que. (SmartCentres Sherbrooke).

The Future Shop locations set to close are:

- West Kelowna, B.C.

- Montreal (Forum Entertainment Center)

- Laval, Que. (First Pro Ste-Dorothee)

- Winnipeg, Man. (Regent Ave.)

- Calgary, Alta. (Macleod Trail)

- Ancaster, Ont.

- Barrie South, Ont.

- Mississauga, Ont. (Erin Mills)

As many as 900 jobs could be affected, or roughly five per cent of the company's Canadian work force.

The company told CBC News employees affected by the closures will receive severance support as well as access to employee assistance programs and career transition support.

A company spokesperson said all gift cards and repair contracts from closed stores will be honoured at other locations.

Best Buy said the store closures are part of an ongoing restructuring plan that will see the chain re-open a number of small-concept web stores and mobile kiosks over the next three years.

Changing retail landscape

Best Buy said the plan will allow it "to better serve its customers in both more locations and smaller markets across the country" while eliminating costs and consolidating real estate.

The chain has been hit hard by tough competition from discounters and online retailers and has become 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.

Employees arrived for their shift at the Sherbrooke, Que., location this morning and were met by security guards and closed doors. They said they did not receive advance notice of the closure.

Best Buy had announced last March, that it was closing 50 stores in the U.S. The company posted mediocre holiday sales.

Best Buy Canada Ltd. operates 139 Future Shop stores and 58 Best Buy Canada stores across the country.

With files from The Canadian Press

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