Eight Future Shop, seven Best Buy stores closing across Canada - Macleans.ca

Eight Future Shop, seven Best Buy stores closing across Canada


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.

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Eight Future Shop, seven Best Buy stores closing across Canada

  1. If they gave people good customer service they probably wouldn’t be in as much trouble. However, every time I’ve been in a Best Buy I have received horrendous service. I will spend my money at local stores who are personal, or online where it is cheaper.

  2. Huh. So *that* explains why Future Shop and Best Buy always offer the same crap at the same prices.. even during sales. Never really looked into it before.

    It strikes me as kind of.. deceptive.. to have stores which do everything basically the same, but present them under different brand names to make consumers think there might be some competition going on.

    • they are the same for the last 8 years or more…

    • Best Buy bought Future Shop (a formerly Canadian company) as part of its move into Canada. I think they kept both names not only because it offers the illusion of competition, but because while a lot of Canadiands liked the idea of best Buy coming in, the Future Shop brand had a lot of loyal customers – and a lot of Canadians may have resented the takeover if they rebranded.

      So yeah, perhaps a bit deceptive but it’s not the same as if they set up both store chains solely to create the illusion. No different really than the Coles/Indigo/Chapters conglomerate.

      • Sorta. A little bit different because Coles/Indigo seems to be their “mall-store” brand, while Chapters is their “big-box” brand. They’ve given both somewhat distinctive identities, and there’s also variations in the products that you can find at each. So in that sense, they actually have some competition between the business models. Which means that it actually makes sense for the consumer to look at both options depending on what they might want.

        For Best Buy/Future Shop though.. I really can’t think of any significant difference between the stores beyond the color scheme, and I do actually remember a few times when I’d check both stores to see if either one had a better deal than the other.

        It was frustrating/annoying then.. but now it makes me feel a bit foolish to realize it really was just the same damn place under a different color.

        I do see what you’re saying, however there is another difference in that there were already Chapters here when Coles/Indigo got taken over. But if part of moving into Canada was buying Future Shop, then why not simply start from scratch and make more Future Shop stores?

        I think that the didn’t because they actually intended to capitalize on this consumer confusion, as there’s an area in North Calgary with both stores only a few blocks away from each other. I really can’t see any business logic to that other than to make people think they’re getting a choice when they’re not.

        • Future Shop and BB are different propositions.

          Future Shop has commissioned sales people and has more of a tilt to appliances. It is meant for more tech savvy customers (though less tech savvy than the canada computers/ncix crowd). Best Buy is more mass market, low selection and service oriented.

          • Huh. To be honest I’ve never noticed a difference. Probably because I don’t shop at either of them for appliances and primarily shop online. When it comes to electronics and stuff — you know, the stuff they advertise, their selection and pricing is pretty much identical.

        • Heck, there’s a mall in North Calgary where there’s a Future Shop and Best Buy 40 metres apart from each other! (Northland Mall).

          Redundant much? Come to think of it, maybe Northland is the location of the Calgary Future Shop that’s closing.

    • No different than grocery retailers that have several banners. The issue was the lack of competition.

    • So *that* explains why Future Shop and Best Buy always offer the same crap at the same prices.. even during sales. Never really looked into it before.

      That’s largely the case, but just fyi, I know for certain that I’ve seen product X be on sale at one of the sites while simultaneously NOT on sale at the other (though it doesn’t happen that often). I presume that when it does happen it’s because of the different inventories of the different chains (i.e. BestBuy has a lot more of product X than Futureshop, so while FS has a sale on to clear out the last few of their old stock, BB doesn’t).

  3. Sounds a lot like the LPoC.

  4. just before the holiday i was almost kicked out of the the rive nord store because i commit the worst crime in the shopping history: plug a usb key into a macbook pro to test vlc and a full hd clip. haha best buy, get what you deserve.

  5. i never shop online, we spent lots of $ in store at the Queensborough location in BC, guess that means that our patronage wasn’t appreciated, and now they are down a families worth of customers.

    • Thats a little self centered dont you think? They should keep the store open that is loosing money, or not competing as well as other stores simply because your family shops there? As much as loosing 900 jobs sucks its an unfortunate part of our everyday lives. Companies all over the country are closing shop because of online shopping.

      Think of the cost difference. With Brink and mortar stores you have between 50 and 100 employee salaries you need to pay, along with utility bills and rent. That store covers only a small section of consumers. Compared to an online store that needs to employ minimal staffing for customer service and likely uses a 3rd party warehouse for storage and shipping. And its consumer base can span the entire Continent or Globe if they so choose.

      The amount of people who ” Refuse to shop online” is growing smaller and smaller and this will be the sad reality for a lot of major big box stores. Especially those covering Electronics.

      From where I sit I can furnish an entire home, Buy new appliances, Order Movies and dinner. Without having waste time or gas going to a store.

  6. I have personally dealt with not only terrible service at majority of the future shop stores in Calgary and Medicine Hat, but they do not back up their product what so ever, unless you pay hundreds of dollars towards their extended warranty that will only help once, then you have to rebuy it. I bought a mac that stayed in its box for the first 6 months, due to losing the internet stick for it. It has been used now maybe 5 times and the hard drive crapped out. However since its been over a year (by 5 days) they want me to pay over $500 to reaplce the harddrive.
    Thank you future Shop!