Future Shop is closing all its stores, consolidating as Best Buy

500 full-time, 1,000 part-time positions lost as chain merges its two brands into one

Laval residents taking adavantage of Boxing day at the Future Shop store, Laval, Quebec, December 26, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mario Beauregard

(Mario Beauregard/CP)

Future Shop owner Best Buy announced this morning that all Future Shop stores would be closed, effective immediately.

“Many of our Future Shop stores will be renovated and rebranded as Best Buy stores,” the company said in a statement on Saturday morning. “These stores will be temporarily closed until April 4th. Some Future Shop stores that are located in close proximity to an existing Best Buy store will be permanently closed as of March 28th.”

The closures mean 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time positions will be lost, according to a statement from Best Buy Canada.

A news bulletin on London, Ont.’s AM 980 radio station reported that 66 Future Shop locations would be permanently closed, with 65 more re-opening as Best Buy locations.

The consolidation brings to its logical end the slow merger of the two chains; U.S. electronics chain Best Buy first bought Future Shop in 2001 for $580 milion, but continued to run both chains under their separate names, despite combining many back-office functions.

In January 2014, the company cut 950 positions in an effort to thin its management structure and cut costs.

The Future Shop closures come as the latest in a streak of prominent retail shutdowns in Canada, most notably Target Canada, which announced it would close all 133 of its locations in January.

In a statement from Best Buy Canada, the parent company said the closures will cause it to write down $250 to $350 million in restructuring charges, and that it would spend up to $200 million on capital costs over the next two years.