Retail giants closing down in Canada

Feb 1, 2013 | News

Best Buy and Sears laying off several employees.

Best Buy and Sears laying off several employees.







Compiled by  Sara Yonis

Best Buy Canada Ltd. which operates 139 Future Shop stores and 58 Best Buy Canada stores across the country is set to close 15 of them.

The announcement Thursday of the closing of eight future shops and seven best buys across Canada means 900 people will be out of a job.

According to the CBC, those affected by the closures will be given severance, as well as employee assistance programs and career transition support.

One of the reasons reported for the closure in the CBC was the greater number of people buying their products from online competitor stores.

“The retail landscape continues to change and our success is dependent upon our ability to evolve along with it,” Mike Pratt, president of Best Buy Canada, said in a statement sent to the Financial Post.

According to the Toronto Star, employees at the Sherbrooke, Quebec Best Buys location stated to the CBC that they were not given any notification of the closures of the stores.  They arrived for their shift Thursday morning and were greeted by security guards and closed doors.

The Best Buy closures comes at the same time as Sears Canada announces it is laying off 700 employees across the country in an effort to restructure its business. From their department stores, 360 people are being laid off, while 300 are being cut from the distribution centres. The rest will be laid off from head office and other support areas.

Reports indicate that the Sears revamp is due to the Canadian store getting prepared for the arrival of many US stores coming into Canada, such as Target, which is set to have a few of its stores open in the next few weeks.

A CTV report last fall showed how Barclays Capital study showed that Sears would be the retailer most affected by  Target’s arrival in Canada.

“Sears’ housewares and value priced, mostly private label, apparel offering (#2 in Canada behind Wal-Mart) makes Sears Canada one of the most at risk retailers. Sears Canada’s management believes 70 per cent of their categories overlap with Target’s offering,” the report said.