Best Buy to close 15 Canadian stores

By Wire services | January 31, 2013 | Last updated on January 31, 2013
2 min read

Some Best Buy outlets have shut their doors in the last several hours. The electronics chain appears to have closed at least two outlets in Quebec, in Sherbrooke and in Montreal-area Lachenaie.

And the Financial Post reports Best Buy will close 15 stores in response to increasing pressure from online retailers such as Amazon and Apple. Best Buy will open some smaller outlets, but the closures will mean layoffs for about 900 employees.

The company 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.

The windows at the Sherbrooke outlet are covered in paper and a sign there announces the closure of that location. Employees arrived for their shift this morning and were met by security guards and closed doors. They did not receive advance notice of a closure.

Calls to that branch are automatically redirected to the area Future Shop, which belongs to the U.S.-based Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE:BBY). Calls to the Lachenaie branch were directed to the nearby outlet in Anjou, in Montreal’s east end.

In both cases, the contact information for the stores was removed from the company website.

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.

Calls to Best Buy Canada Ltd. for comment were not immediately returned.

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Wire services