Future Shop shutters Canadian stores

BURNABY, B.C. — Best Buy closed all Future Shop stores in Canada suddenly on Saturday, with employees finding empty stores upon arriving for their shifts. Half of the closures are permanent, while the other half will reopen under the Best Buy banner after a week’s turnaround. CEO and president Ron Wilson stressed that at present “80% of our customers are within a 15-minute drive to a store and this won’t change” with the consolidation, which eliminates 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs. According to the CBC, employees at the stores being refurbished have been given “no guarantees” that they will continue as Best Buy workers. Speculation that the parent company would merge the banners began when Best Buy acquired Future Shop in 2001, but the timing of the announcement was without warning.