Saanich Future Shop to rebrand as Best Buy in chain-wide move

About 1,500 full-time and part-time jobs will be lost across Canada with 66 Future Shop closures

By Kolby SolinskyBlack Press

Named for the future and its robotic hope, one of Canada’s largest tech store chains doesn’t have one anymore.

Future Shop announced it would be closing all of its stores – including the Saanich location in Uptown – on Saturday, shutting down 66 locations for good and transition the other 65 over to Best Buy. There will be a total of 192 Best Buys in Canada.

A total of 1,500 jobs will be lost with the move – 500 full-time, 1,000 part-time.

Future Shop’s website has already been shut down – all traffic re-directed to BestBuy.ca – and the company’s Wikipedia page was swiftly updated this morning to house the news.

(A Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ has also started under the website’s Calgary feed, titled ‘I was just laid off from Future Shop, Ask Me Anything’.)

That includes the site’s Store Locator, although Future Shop did have several locations in B.C.

On Vancouver Island, Future Shop locations include Saanich, Langford, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Courtenay/Cumberland. In the Interior, Future Shop had stores in Kelowna, Vernon, and Kamloops, and north in Prince George.

In the Lower Mainland, stores will close/rebrand in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Surrey, Langley, White Rock/South Surrey, Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack.

The to-be Best Buys will close down and will re-open on April 4 under their new banner, the company says.

“Currently, 80 per cent of our customers are within a 15-minute drive to a store and this won’t change,” said Best Buy’s president, Ron Wilson.

“Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly; our first priority is to support them through this change. I want to express my appreciation to the employees who are leaving, for their contributions to Best Buy Canada.”

Future Shop was founded in 1982 in Vancouver by Hassan Khosrowshahi, and its first three stores were opened in B.C. the next year. The company expanded to the United States and the rest of Canada and, by its 10th year, had become the largest tech and electronic store in the country.

Future Shop’s and Best Buy’s headquarters were/are in Burnaby.

The latter acquired the former for $580 million in 2001.

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