7 Best Buy and 8 Future Shop Stores to Close, Part of “Renew Blue” Strategy

Numerous reports this morning noted various Best Buy locations across Canada such as ones in Montreal and Victoria were mysteriously closed with security guards handing out pamphlets informing customers and staff of the closure.

A Best Buy Canada spokesperson sent us the following statement on the status of their locations. The closures are the company’s transformational “real estate optimization plan”, part of what the company calls their “Renew Blue Focus” aimed to enhance the customer experience through a “modernized multi-channel approach.”

Best Buy Canada today launched the first phase of a long-term transformational strategy to optimize the company’s retail footprint across the country. As part of this transformational plan, Best Buy will permanently close 8 Future Shop and 7 Best Buy Big Box stores today in select markets nationwide.

Over the next 36 months, Best Buy will move into the second phase of the “Renew Blue” strategy and plans to open state-of-the-art new Future Shop Small-Concept web stores and new Best Buy Mobile locations across Canada, where and when appropriate. This move will enable the company to better serve its customers in both more locations and smaller markets across the country. The move was based on an extensive review of Best Buy’s retail footprint in Canada in an effort to reduce unnecessary costs, eliminate redundant operating systems and to optimize its real estate strategy to reflect a more a changing retail landscape.

Employees affected by these closures will receive severance and given hiring preference at other existing locations. There are currently more than 120 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations combined with over 140 Future Shop stores across Canada.

As an official Apple reseller, Future Shop and Best Buy locations have long been a source of Apple products for customers.

Looks like Best Buy and Future Shop will start making smaller stores, such as this recent concept store in North Vancouver that opened last November, which at 5000 square feet, is one-fifth the size of a regular store.

Update: List of store closures below via the Vancouver Sun:

In British Columbia, five Best Buy stores were closed along with one Future Shop – the West Kelowna store. Best Buy stores shut down in BC include Queensborough; all three Best Buy stores on Vancouver Island – Nanaimo, Victoria, Langford (Westshore Town Centre), and the Best Buy store in South Surrey.

Other Future Shop closures across Canada include stores in Montreal and Laval, Quebec, Regent, Manitoba, Macleod, Calgary and in Ontario, Ancaster, Barrie South and Erin Mills. In Quebec Best Buy stores in Lachenaie and Sherbrooke were closed.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    the one at the old montreal forum closed… huuuge mistake on their end as that part of the city is about to explode

  • Networx

    Do you have a list of the closed locations?

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    We’re waiting to hear back on this, stay tuned. 2 BB locations closed were in Victoria.

  • MleB1

    From an news item I read on this today, sales staff arrived at their Best Buy in Montreal today to find the place shuttered and security preventing entry. No warning whatsoever. Nice.

  • OliChabot

    What about in Quebec

  • Gurinder

    The Best Buy stores closing are:
    Queensborough, BC
    Nanaimo, BC
    Victoria, BC
    Langford (Westshore Town Centre), BC
    South Surrey, BC
    Lachenaie, QB
    Sherbrooke (SmartCentres Sherbrooke), QB

    The Future Shop stores closing are:
    West Kelowna, BC
    Montreal (Forum Entertainment Center), QB
    Laval (First Pro Ste-Dorothee), QB
    Winnipeg (Regent), MB
    Calgary (Macleod), AB
    Ancaster, Barrie South, ON
    Mississauga (Erin Mills), ON

    *Note: We are still awaiting the eighth Future Shop location that is closing down*

    source: http://www.news1130.com/2013/01/31/fifteen-future-shopbest-buy-stores-closing/

  • Concerned Citizen

    Explode? In a riot? What? Should I prepare somehow? Should we call someone?

  • Omac

    I hear Barrie on closed today

  • Omac

    Oh didn’t notice I was already listed ;)

  • crosseyed_mofo

    niiiice

    sadly we havent had a riot there since 93 :(

    ps: upvote

  • Mark

    You already have 8 Future Shops in that list. You have Ancaster & Barrie South are on the same line.

    Speaking of the Ancaster FS, that makes perfect sense. That location should never have been opened in the first place. BB and FS were already saturated in the greater Hamilton area, and that location was in the outer sticks.

    Erin Mills FS also probably makes sense. There’s a BB in that general area.
    I always thought the combined two chains had an excessive number of stores.

  • islander

    so they just close with zero warning to their employees? That’s how I read the article…absolutely brutal.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Yes. almost 900 employees nationwide :/

  • Biggy604

    Welcome to Canada where the unemployment lines get longer for 2013 lol

  • Ruhndmc

    This leaves just 2 future shops in Victoria. Both best buy stores were pretty much brand new here. Crazy. I’ve purchased an iMac, iPad, and MacBook through best buy now and it will leave me having to travel all the way to Richmond to just go to a bestbuy. May as well go to the apple store ( cough cough, still no apple store in Victoria ) in Richmond for any help I need there. This is gonna piss a lot of people off for sure….or already has…

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Yeah it was nice to have Best Buys in Victoria. Now it looks like we’ll have to shop online.

  • Flaxx

    What a stupid move. At least give employees warning, have “closing sales” to attract customers to buy inventory. This was cruel to employees and who will move inventory — nevermind cost of security to “greet” employees/customers. Aweful. I hope the severance pay is good otherwise enjoy that class action.

  • gerry

    The one in Barrie, south end location was a massive Future Shop store. It was beautiful, but it had a lack of customer base shoppers compared to the smaller store in the north end of town. Yes, one of ours, the south end location was closed today.

  • Mark

    Hopefully they will be replaced with SKILLED people when the new boutique-style stores open. Meanwhile, the newly unemployed people can go back to college on one of the government’s significant student tax breaks.

  • jabohn

    The Future Shop in West Kelowna has barely been open a couple of years. The Best Buy in Kelowna is even newer and yet it stays open (itself being a block away from the Kelowna Future Shop). I guess everyone in West Kelowna can hop across the bridge into Kelowna now.

  • draz

    I’m sad to see these stores closed but I personally have bought quite a few expensive items online during Black Friday and Boxing Day from best buy and future shop’s website. Free shipping, it arrives in a couple days, and there is a better chance the stock is available online than in store. Almost no need to visit a store if they offer such convenience from the comfort of your home.

  • Mark

    Stupid move? A business getting rid of dead weight?
    The employees got their notice today. If they did it advance, it wouldn’t make any difference to the employees. A business generally doesn’t want an employee on the premises once they are terminated.
    Class action? Seriously? Don’t be so dramatic. They all would get normal severance.
    Closing sale? Really!? That would take weeks/months and degrade the value of merchandise in their other nearby stores and web. They just need to transfer inventory to other stores using warehouse labourers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=48303916 Jonathan McMullen

    The employer MUST give fair notice of closure so the employee can find work elsewhere in the interim. What Best Buy did is illegal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=48303916 Jonathan McMullen

    Stop crying old man. Students are the future so have some respect.

  • Shuttaman

    The Best Buy in lachenaie closed? Figures, I mean there’s a future shop in lachenaie It’s like 10 mins by car. They are owned by the same company didn’t make sense to have a best buy just near a future shop. On top of that there was a wal mart just next to the Best buy.

  • http://twitter.com/CyrusKafaiWu Cyrus Kafai Wu

    Sherbrooke Bestbuy, Montréal Forum Futureshop, Lachenaie Bestbuy, Laval Future Shop à Ste-dorothee

  • Mark

    You are completely wrong. They are given a severance that is equivalent to a couple of weeks pay or more (depending on policy). THAT is their fair notice.

  • Mark

    I thought that was my point… Allowing them to become better educated in order to become better skilled, instead of hanging out collecting unemployment.

  • definingsound

    In Ontario (under the Employment Standards Act) you cannot terminate people without severance pay, and the decision to close the stores was likely made by the USA management, who are not encumbered by such liberal employment rules as in Canada.

  • Mark

    You honestly think that a foreign-owned company could operate under their own set of rules on Canadian soil?! Of course they were given a severance. And probably other assistance as well, as many corporations do.
    You people are just trying to look for drama.

  • definingsound

    This is business, not drama. I am not affected by the closure.

    The following is to be used when “employee is one of 50 or more employees whose employment is being terminated”.

    http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/claim/ws_severance.php

    I am happy Mark that you are so knowledgeable of your rights, perhaps some of the BB/FS employees could use some pointers, in light of recent events (I’m not talking laser pointers).

  • Flaxx

    Wow buddy. Was your goal to pick apart everything I said and play devils advocate? I bet people love hanging around you. The stupid move is opening shop only to close it with such a rush that you have disgruntled customers and employees. If you think that kind of behavior is acceptable, you must be just as shrewd as the executives of Best Buy. And let me remind you, they don’t exactly have a great track record for good business sense. It never pays long-term to treat people poorly. While I actually think their long-term strategy is good, the harshness of moving to that model is what I don’t approve of. As for a class-action, I had the disclaimer for “good severance pay”. I can guarantee you that there would be legal action if it was say the equivalent of a day of pay. So no, it’s not dramatic. If it’s two-weeks, then a class-action would be silly, much like your unreasonable attack on my reasonable opinion.

  • Mark

    Dude! … RESEARCH before making insanely stupid assumptions!
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/01/31/business-best-buy-closure.html
    “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.”

  • Mark

    You “opinions” were driven by reckless hysteria. You were looking for drama.

    What is the difference between telling employees inside the store that the are let go and must be escorted out vs. letting them know outside the store? That’s all this is. Jumping to ridiculous conclusions about possibly not getting severance is just silly.

    I picked apart what you said because you should have spoken at all since you went off on a totally unfounded tangent.

  • Flaxx

    Reckless hysteria? Haha. Mark you need a reality check. Most people are reasonable and can understand that a store is being closed down. They aren’t being fired because they are bad employees. Letting them know allows them to prepare their resumes, conduct a job search, and make decisions with some forewarning.

    It’s a little thing called courtesy. That’s the difference, and a pretty big one at that.

  • Mark

    They have time! That’s what their severance covers… Paid time to seek other employment. An employer giving advance notice prior to letting an employee go is rare.

    And yes, your suggestion of a class action suite was definitely reckless, unfounded and juvenile hysteria.

  • Mark

    You are creating drama because you WANT to think the worst. Do a quick Google search, you will find the employees are being treated fairly. This speculation of illegal treatment by a foreign company is absurd. Get a grip.

  • Quinn

    Mark it is very clear that you are hired by Best Buy to clean up their image. Severance pay right when an employee has a family to feed you think some silly severance pay will take care of their needs right. Wait till you are put in that position and then open your silly mouth and talk about Severance pay again. You are just a corporate dummy so keep you silly opinions to yourself.

  • Al

    You can’t be serious. There’s no way Best Buy could afford someone like me as an employee. It’s sad when I walk into those stores and I have 100 times more product knowledge about ANYTHING than any of the mindless drones who work on that sales floor. The only thing they are trained in is how to push extended warranties.

    Quinn, you sound like you feel “entitled”. Guess what? You’re not! This is the real world. Grow some balls and deal with it, instead of pouting like a baby.