All Future Shop stores in Canada have closed, effective immediately.
The news was delivered simultaneously to employees at store meetings across the country early Saturday morning.
“This meeting was scheduled for about two weeks,” said a Future Shop employee speaking to AM980 on condition of anonymity. “We found out that both Best Buy and Future Shop had the same meeting for 7 a.m. in the morning, so we all kind of knew something big was about to happen, we just didn’t know what.”
In a news release issued Saturday, company officials confirmed 66 Future Shop stores — including both in London — would be closed permanently. Another 65 stores will be closed temporarily and converted into Best Buy locations.
According to the employee, the announcement was abrupt.
“We had no idea this was going to happen as of today. We had a feeling something was going to happen, but we didn’t think it would be as immediate as today.”
As a result of the consolidation, approximately 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time positions will be eliminated.
“They’re offering us employment help,” said the employee. “They had HR accompany them at the meeting.”
The affected workers will receive severance, described by the employee as “above industry standard”, employee assistance and outplacement support, according to a statement.
“Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly; our first priority is to support them through this change,” said Ron Wilson, President and COO of Best Buy Canada.
“I want to express my appreciation to the employees who are leaving, for their contributions to Best Buy Canada.”
All Future Shop gift cards will be accepted at any Best Buy Canada location and at BestBuy.ca. Existing product orders, service appointments and warranties will continue to be honoured and Future Shop purchases to be returned or exchanged will also be accepted at any Best Buy.
Future Shop was founded in 1982, and was purchased by Best Buy in 2001 for $580-million.
Until now, Best Buy continued to operate Future Shop as a separate division. Best Buy will now have a total of 192 locations across Canada, including 136 large-format stores and 56 Best Buy Mobile stores.