Best Buy adding jobs to its holiday list

This will be the first Christmas season for the Uptown Best Buy, since it changed over from being a Future Shop in March

Uptown Best Buy general manager Janine Ball is readying her 80-plus employees for the Christmas shopping craziness

Now that Halloween’s over, expect to see more red and green everywhere you go – including the famously blue Best Buy at Uptown.

The countdown to Christmas is on, and the electronics retailer is gearing up for its busiest time of the year with seasonal employment opportunities.

“We always balance how many we need versus how many we can keep on board after the holidays,” said general manager Janine Ball. “We are very strategic about it – we don’t want to hire 100 people only to get rid of 80.

“There will be those people that transition from an occasional seasonal environment to permanent positions.”

While the primary reason for seasonal staff is to manage the holiday rush, Ball said having extra employees allows for more flexibility, with part-time staff or people falling ill.

But it’s not just Christmas and Boxing Day that they have to worry about – Ball said Canadians are embracing the concept of Black Friday, opting to shop at stores on this side of the border instead of joining the stampede in the U.S.

“We really see that trend now, especially with the Canadian dollar – there isn’t the incentive, necessarily, to cross the border right now with the Canadian dollar being so weak,” she said. “The retailers up here are giving those types of discounts throughout the season.”

This Christmas season will be a first for the Uptown location as a Best Buy, since it changed over from being a Future Shop in March. While the Island’s three previous Best Buy locations – Victoria, Langford and Nanaimo – closed their doors in 2013, the electronics giant announced earlier this year it was giving a new coat of blue paint to the last remaining Future Shops.

“The biggest transition is going from a commission-based sales environment to a non-commission sales environment,” said Ball. “The community has been extremely supportive, which has been great because we lost a lot of good people.”

That said, Ball noted their current sales force has upwards of 80 people, who were very supportive during the transition.

“I couldn’t have asked for more from the community, they’ve just been phenomenal,” she said. “We’re very happy and very excited with where the store is going – it’s been tremendous.”

Ball said her store has fit in well with the rest of Uptown, noting it’s an ideal location for both residents and tourists as the shopping centre becomes more prominent in the area.

“I think it does allow Saanich to have its own community, its own hub, as well, to differentiate a little bit from the old-town atmosphere of Victoria,” she said.

To inquire about seasonal employment, visit the Uptown Best Buy or go to bestbuycanada.ca/careers.

 

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com