Best Buy and Future Shop feel the retail heat, closing 15 locations and slashing 800 jobs

Ian Hardy

January 31, 2013 2:52pm


This is an interesting turn of events for big box retailers Best Buy and Future Shop. According reports a total of 7 Best Buy Canada and 8 Future Shop locations are closing their doors. This move is apparently part of a project called “Renew Blue Focus” where they’ll start a “long-term transformational strategy to optimize the company’s retail footprint.”

Basically they’re spending too money much on their physical retail stores for the amount of sales. Some customers have turned to online resources like eBay, Walmart or Amazon Canada to purchase tech items at a lower cost. Part of the plan is to open smaller locations with a greater focus, similar to the Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores.

“Best Buy Canada today launched the first phase of a long-term transformational strategy to optimize the company’s retail footprint across the country. As part of this transformational plan, Best Buy will permanently close 8 Future Shop and 7 Best Buy Big Box stores today in select markets nationwide.

Over the next 36 months, Best Buy will move into the second phase of the “Renew Blue” strategy and plans to open state-of-the-art new Future Shop Small-Concept web stores and new Best Buy Mobile locations across Canada, where and when appropriate. This move will enable the company to better serve its customers in both more locations and smaller markets across the country. The move was based on an extensive review of Best Buy’s retail footprint in Canada in an effort to reduce unnecessary costs, eliminate redundant operating systems and to optimize its real estate strategy to reflect a more a changing retail landscape.”

The Globe and Mail has also reported the company will shed a whopping 800 employees – which is so incredibly unfortunate. Laid off employees will receive severance pay and be given hiring preference other retail locations.

Source: Globe and Mail
Via: iPhoneInCanada

  • Jimmy

    I don’t shop there because salespeople just huddle around in circles and don’t pay attention to customers. They should just close up the underperforming locations and let these people go jobless.

    • JUST SAYING

      I blame the government they charge too much tax so people cant buy electronic devices

    • Stuntman

      Funny. This is the reason I like Best Buy. They leave you alone and let you browse the store in peace. If I need assistance, I will ask someone and I find them to be very helpful.

      In contrast, I avoid Future Shop because they circle around me like vultures and on top of that, they don’t seem to be of any help. I just want to be left alone in peace unless I need assistance.

    • Huawei4Real

      This is unfortunate but not unexpected. The retail market isn’t what it used to be for electronics. Between sales dying up for PCs, phone companies racing for the bottom for pricing and cutting retailers margins to compensate and the ascendence of online shopping, this was bound to happen.

      Hopefully the employees can find work elsewhere, but where else are they going to go? I’m not trying to be harsh, but the qualifications for a FS/BB salesperson aren’t really that high. Better than working at say a TBooth or wireless wave, but not much. They could take a heavy pay cut a try working at a TBooth/WW, but that company is already on the edge and useless and their employees are even less knowledgeable about what they sell.

    • Bravo – Bravo – Zulu – 1 – 0

      Is Bell’s George Cope also managing Best Buy/Future Shop? Because this seems to be right out of his little playbook. Regardless of your feelings for BB and FS, these are still students, fathers, mothers, etc losing their jobs. If they will open numerous smaller mall locations, why aren’t they redeploying their labour force and retooling them so as to minimize job losses? I didn’t see any comment to that effect. Shame on BB/FS!

    • Chris

      Jimmy, I would like you to go work at Best Buy for minimum wage and see how much you give a crap then. You go work there for 3 years and listen to the stupid things people constantly ask you and let’s hear what your comments are then.

      You have to understand that most the employees there are college or high school students. Do you really think they give a crap what you think Jimmy? No they don’t, just because you need to be baby spooned your way through a retail store…

      I use to work at Best Buy so I feel sorry for what these employees have to put up with, it’s a whole lot of garbage, and for terrible pay.

      Some of them do care, don’t get be wrong but for the most part you have to understand where there coming from as well.

  • MapleHamwich

    They’re clueless. The only appeal to those stores is that it’s a one stop shop. If they segregate products to different locations, they’ll lose even more sales. The bottom line is they don’t offer competitive prices, their employees are not as helpful as they could be (that means not helping in some cases), and they have some truly useless / outdated product stacked on their shelves.

  • Fish

    Maybe they should stop building their store side-by-side, it crazy that I have to drive 20 minutes to the nearest store and then their are two of them sitting there with the same inventory and pricing.

    • Tom

      Pretending to compete isn’t easy. Just ask Robellus.

    • GrapeApe

      That was done to give consumers the ‘apperance’ of competition during the time of other physical electronic stores. And it worked, the uninitiated consumer thought these two stores were competing and side-by-side, why would I travel to A&B sound or Visions or other disparate store locations when I could get two of the biggest boxes in one quick trip and easily go back and forth between the two.
      It was a VERY effective strategy and vaulted them to the top of the retail space… until online shopping truly became widely acceptable for large purchase items (most people wouldn’t give people their credit cards online in the late 90s early 2000s let alone buy something with a 4 digit pricetage) now online shopping is easy and cheap (low overhead, low employee costs).
      Now online shopping has relegated the Big box stores to become essentially display cases for online e-tailers, which is a business model that doesn’t make the display cases any money if their online stores can’t capitalize on the deal.
      But Amazon and others shouldn’t be too comfy, once the mfrs can sell directly to the consumer, why pay Amazon a cut on that LG, Sony or HiSense TV when you can buy it directly from the factory for less? And then have the Chinese, Japanese or Koreans buy DHL or whomever and then completely offshore the whole transactions so that all that middle-man profit stays out of country. Fun times ahead. ;-)

    • ToniCipriani

      To an extent I don’t mind that… it’s like having a BB sitting next to a FS, if one has a sale I just take the ad to the other one to price match.

  • Gregg Gordon

    They have been in trouble for some time. This is why it confused me when the purpose built a new Best Buy location in Abbotsford just over a year ago, located one block away from the Future Shop. I’m sure the Future Shop must now be hurting.

    • Calgary

      You should look at the Northland Mall in Calgary, they have the 2 stores literally STEPS away from each other in the same mall!!

    • Ottawa

      In Ottawa, Future Shop in Kanata and Merivale is located close to Best Buy, while the Gloucester Future Shop is a short drive away from a Best Buy.

  • chuck

    That Jimmy is just a symptom of a greater corporate culture.

    • GrapeApe

      It’s Consumer culture thats driving this, not corporate culture. The natural evolution of things, and both BB & FS had alot of time to see it coming, and didn’t react quickly enough because they thought they had ‘loyal’ customers, when all they had are former Consumers’ Distributing & Radio Shack customers going to the next ‘best & cheapest way to buy’.

  • Porilaisten

    Typical, American companies come in and buy ours and then drive it and themselves into the ground.

  • Puck

    This is odd considering that Best Buy just opened up a massive store on SW Marine Drive in Vancouver only a few months ago.

    • DerP

      The one opened on SW marine drive is new, but from what i hear that is a test store for appliances they are introducing into the store. I was a former Best Buy employee long ago so i still know people from head office and so forth that tells me some stuff.
      In the end i find this all sad with more lay offs, but im sure we all saw this coming with the dual branding method they used. To me it just didnt make sense to have a Best Buy store and a Future Shop store in such close proximity, Sure some people don’t know the difference from one another, but most do… in the end all the money still goes into one bucket at head office, but at a store front it hurts them when a store doesnt make budget and it has to resort to lay offs and so forth.

  • Eric

    I wonder if they are going to close one of the 2 locations in South Edmonton Common. I never understand why one shopping complex had both a Best Buy and Future Shop. Great for me if I wanted to find which store had the cheaper price lol.

    • ile2010

      Best Buy and Future Shop always price-match, so that’s a bit of a moot point.

    • Alex

      usually they have different special offers in these stores,but I agree that it’s pointless to have two next each other.

  • ile2010

    I like Best Buy for most of my tech needs, save for internal PC components. They match every lower price, in-store or online and I earn some reward certificates as well. Plus, I don’t always want to wait for something to get delivered.

    As for sales staff, they’re usually friendly. Not always as knowledgeable as I’d like, but I’ve learned to adjust my expectations when dealing with high school students.

    I don’t really see the point of Future Shop. It’s usually right around the corner from a Best Buy with the exact same stock and prices.

    • Velo

      At the locations near me I doubt the employees are high schoolers. Unless of course you can still go to high school in your 30’s and 40’s. Then again I guess that would explain the lack of knowledge and interest.

  • Velo

    I love how they all have a price match system. Yet when I was looking to get a laptop for my girlfriend, I found one at both with everything exactly the same, just one CPU was 0.2GHz faster than the other. Thus changing the product number and me not being able to do a price match. I would not spend an extra $50 for 0.2GHz more. Once BB bought FS, it just went downhill from there. (Laughing says the guy who made millions off of selling FS)

  • Darren

    The old retail story of shooting yourself in the foot until you can’t walk anymore – then shooting the other one. Until the Audiotronic in Nepean shut down a year ago, I would never set foot in either one of those big-box / no service cr@pholes. All the twentysomething employees think they deserve to be executives somewhere else, certainly not doing something as menial as “customer service”. Now they’ll get their chance.

  • StEC

    What I find disgusting is they didn’t give any notice whatsoever to their employees of those closed locations, that is incomprehensible!?!? They should be fined and ordered to pay those employees at least 2 weeks wages to help a little while they now look for other employment.

    • MattyMattMatt

      Two weeks? Try two months

    • maths

      the article said they’re getting a severance package, and will hire some back over people with relevant experience in other stores.

    • Ottawa

      This article unfortunately doesn’t say anything about what BB did for it’s employees. When BB lays off staff, they provide a minimum 2 week severance with all vacation + benefits paid out. Employees also receive an additional 2 weeks pay per year they were with the company.

      On top of that, they offer counsel for finding new work (creating resumes, interview prep etc). Also, all employees laid off will get priority hiring at any BB / FS they apply to in the near future. All of this information was available when they arrived at the store, instead of the “go home” from a security guard a lot of media is reporting.

      Prior notice would’ve been nice, but those stores would have destroyed the companies name with employees knowing they are about to get fired. Go into a Zellers and see how the staff atmosphere is…

  • Tom

    The employees are clueless, the prices aren’t great and they try to upsell extended warranties and severely overpriced cables and accessories hence they lose all consumer trust. The business model is flawed

  • Mike

    Last year I was in the market for a new laptop. I did my research online, narrowed my choices down to two, and went to BB to look at them in person. After 5 minutes, I made up my mind. I was done looking, I had no questions to ask anyone, I just needed somebody to go get one for me so I could pay and get out of there. 30 minutes I stood there, and nobody wanted to help me.

    So I went over to FS just around the corner (I agree with others here, why have 2 stores so close together?) and the same thing happened. A manager even noticed me standing there waiting for someone to help me, and he said he was going to send somebody over, and still…nobody came.

    Great service, BB & FS.

  • Tom Riddell

    I like best buy better the Futureshop
    Cause there not on commission Sales

    Even tho there owned by Same Compaany

    • jonny

      Not true. BB pays commission on warranties. FS pays commission only to some departments, but for example, an employee would make $6 commission selling a laptop (which takes at least an hour to sell), but they could get $40 selling the warranty. 90% of the income of commission FS employees is warranty sales. And BB also pays commission on warranties. So they are pretty much the same. Batteries and cables are also a high source of commission at FS, and I think BB pays commission on those too.

  • PO

    I believe that their strategy of always opening a FS next to BB was that usually, people shop for their parts and it’s convenient that those 2 shops are next to each other.

    If you’re looking for, say a laptop. You’re going to Best Buy and look around and find one that you like. But you’re not sure of the price. You take the price in note and go outside and wonder where to go to shop for that laptop.

    How convenient, there’s a future shop right across the road. I’ll look there. Same laptop, same price. That must means that it’s all the same everywhere. Guess it doesn’t matter if I buy it here. Ka-ching!

    People shop, find 2 locations together that sell the same stock at the same price, must be everywhere the same. It was somewhat of a nice strategy at first, but more people are looking in the internet and find that they can get it lower than both of those and stop shopping there. And it’s mostly true for everything.

  • John

    I agree with others, if I want to buy something at best buy I stand there and no one bothers helping. The store workers are just there socializing. And if i’m at future shop they harass you, try and upsell you;even if you don’t want assistance.

    • jonny

      I disagree. At both stores the employees stand around chatting with each other, and if you walk up to them to ask a question most of them run away and the last person to gets stuck having to help – sometimes begrudgingly.

      Only some departments at Future Shop are on commission, and they pretty much only make commission on the warranties (i used to work there). Best Buy says they are better because they dont pay commission, but thats a lie. They pay commission on the warranties – which is pretty much the only commission FS employees get, so its pretty much the same.

      There is no difference to the stores. The only reason they both exist is to fool dumb people into thinking they are competing with each other, but they arent. They are both owned by the same company and offer the same products for the same prices. They are trying to keep other big players out of the market.

    • GrapeApe

      Amazing how many people have the same problem… lack of communication skills.
      FS/BB employess towards their customers , and so many of you who feel incapable of walking up to a clearly label retail-bot and asking for help or telling the predatory salesperson “nope don’t need help just browsing / looking / passing-through”

      Thankfully those people will likely be better served by online stores with annoying pop-ups and surveys and newsletters to sign-up for at every mouse click. =;-P

  • coop3422

    To the people surprised FS and BB stores are often near each other, you must have never taken a marketing courses. Most shoppers will go to 2-3 stores to look at prices before making a purchase. The general public still sees these as 2 different stores. So when they’re shopping, they’ll go to the 2 stores since they’re close to each other, and maybe a third. Having 2 stores so close increases the odds that the purchase from one of the two.

    That said, I think they are too clustered, but that’s the marketing reason as to why. These are multi-million dollar corporations, they invest millions into where to put their stores, I’m sure they know more than posters on here. It was only a matter of time online hurt their sales to the point of closing stores down.

    • ile2010

      Looks like BB/FS execs took the same intro to marketing courses, which is why business is booming.

    • Gregg Gordon

      I’m not surprised that the stores are side by side, I know there is a reason for it. But since they have been hurting for a while now, why are they currently building new stores next to existing ones? You can say they are experts at placing the stores, but if they were perfect at it then they wouldn’t be closing stores. My local FS had not competiton. Now it has BB as competition. That has in no way increased their overall market share within my city.

    • Mike

      That’s assuming people don’t know the two are owned by the same company. In the case of FS and BB, I think most people know.

  • Michele

    I usually purchase from their online store. Fast, free delivery. Maybe they should push this model more

  • Kelly

    That’s what they get for not allowing me to buy a newly releaseD cell phone outright. KARMA!

    • ile2010

      That’s unfortunately dictated by the carriers. No re-seller allows for outright purchases at release. It’s very annoying.

    • BB

      ile2010 is correct, and usually the option to sell out right on new devices isn’t even available in the POS. So they couldn’t sell it to you even if they wanted to.

  • A

    As someone who worked at one of these stores that just closed.. Its sorta hurts that you think people don’t know anything. Its hard to know about every single device and menu in a Electronic store, The smaller the store the more you can know about the product in it. Many of the employees like myself built our own computers keep track of up to date tech watch CES E3 etc etc.. Or at least i did because that was my personal area of interest and i don’t consider myself a genius but i could help people with most problems or questions as long as it was not Car releated even if that meant underselling what a person was asking for after finding out they were just an old couple looking for a computer for Internet and email and didn’t need a power hungry I7 laptop. But its no surprise they closed Canada is starting to shift to the European shopping style small stores More and more is done online so you dont need super large stores.

    • GrapeApe

      Don’t take it personally, it’s a generalization, but one usually born out of more than one experience. The problem being the bad sully the reputation of the good, which is unfortunate for people like you.
      For those of us who are beyond the bleeding edge (and attend CES etc), it’s annoying just asking for ‘best price’ etc and then someone trying to upsell us on something else while feeding a load of crud that makes them look like complete tools; and makes us wonder if others aren’t being ripped off by this BS because they don’t know the real truth behind the marketing bull. Many times I’ve even felt compelled to step in on a ‘sales’ discussion, not losing the customer, and point a customer at the right product for their needs, and it annoyed me having to do that because someone at HQ thought someone should push the over-stocked item instead of the better fit for a one time sale at the detrimental cost of the Brand value and sales reputation.

      The biggest problem is too often the good would stand idly by while the bad tarnished theirs and the stores reputation. You only burn so many bridges before people don’t trust you anymore, and if you can’t really compete on price, and you’ve got no extra leverage through trust, then that’s when people treat the store like a display case for online shopping somewhere else, as payback for that previous misdirection that cost the customer money. That why I’ll give London Drugs my electronics money on something I want my hands on, because I know that I might pay more (they usually price match), but they have ALWAYS been honest and forthright and not slimey, so they are worth the +5-10% to me, FS/BB aren’t anymore, epecially since they aren’t more Canadian than Amazon, Costco, Walmart, etc.

      Personally I haven’t purchased anything from FS/BB in over a year, like someone else I thought Boxing Day (or Dec 24 after 8PM) might be the day, but I too saw absolutely nothing worth buying, wheras last year I bought about 7 items totalling over $1,000 in their online sale.
      This year I spent more @ Amazon alone in the week after New Years’, where Amazon and everyone else are beating FS/BB to the punch, and they are becoming too slow to react and simply circle the wagons instead of looking to evolve.

      Too bad you lost your job, hopefully it’s a steppinng stone to something better. Good Luck, eh!

  • Calvin

    To all the people saying the service is crap, did you try asking? I go in expecting no service until I approach an associate because that is how I prefer to shop. Maybe do that instead of just standing around waiting…. take some initiative.

    • Alex

      I tried to ask many times about different items and I can confirm that 99% knows nothing. I would go to ncix or memoryexpress for tech product, these people know what they are selling!

  • Milpool

    Those stores are useless. I remember times when I wanted a videogame console (which they keep locked up, or in the back) and it took forever to find someone who would help me. The first few people I asked said “that’s not my department. even if I had a key that opened that storage room, I wouldn’t know where to find it”

    Or how about another time when I was trying to find a specific laptop backpack that was sold-out at that location. The employee went to check the computer for nearby stock, and said “oh, store 1502 has 5 left as of this morning.” and I said “great, which location is that?” and he said “I don’t know. it’s listed by store number. I can’t find the laminated card that’s usually left here that says which store is which number.”

    In short: those stores are pretty much only useful to do a subjective visual comparison on TVs, before ultimately buying them cheaper online. But since there have been many cases where they were showcasing “brilliant HD” using Composite Cables (rendering the entire thing useless) they are beyond useless.

    P.S. I lost what little respect I had for them when they tried to hand me an $80 Monster brand HDMI cable. I went over to the computer peripherals department, grabbed a $12 generic brand HDMI cable, showed it to the guy, and received a half-assed description of why the Monster cable will produce a better picture. Digital is digital, buddy. If it were legal, I’d have shoved the Monster cable up his….

  • Jacquio

    I used to make a major purchase or 2 every Boxing Day at Future Shop/Best Buy. This was the first year I did not.

    The reason: The headphones I bought for $99 last year are “on sale” for $299 this year. The usual %50+ discounts I am used to were replaced with ~10% discounts this year. I can and will save that much by just paying regular price on Amazon or another similar website.

  • JHK

    I don’t shop in neither of those places sipmly because they rip you off.
    Nuff said.
    canadacomputers or tiger direct or pc cyber are the obvious choices…

    • Porilaisten

      NCIX for the win!

    • ile2010

      I buy stuff at Tiger Direct and Canada Computers, but I have to be damn sure I want it. Tiger Direct will charge re-stocking fees. Something better came out or went on sale next week? Too bad.

      Hard to beat Best Buy’s return policy.

      And to those complaining that they had to wait to get something from a locked cabinet, I suggest they try Walmart and then see what waiting truly is.

      Unless it’s Boxing Day, if you don’t manage to get someone to talk to you in a few minutes, then you must be doing something wrong. Approach someone and they’ll help you. You can’t demand that they leave you alone when you don’t need help and then expect them to read your mind and approach when you do need them.

      I’m not in retail, but I worked a lot of retail in high school and undergrad. No matter how rude a customer was (and it’s always i****s who treat you like an i***t), I had to suck it up. Not everyone is made of stone.

      Stop acting like whiny entitled children. If you’re unhappy, take your business elsewhere. I’ll stop shopping there if they piss me off, and not because they offended you in some way.

  • Jaymerman79

    ummm
    maybe its because their stores are side by side and have the same product and pricing?
    If one store had super high end product and then one was lower/mid end then it would make sense.
    You’d walk in to one, go HOLY CRAP and then walk in to the other and buy.. “tricking” the customer into thinking they’ve shopped around

  • Waiting for Razr M HD w/3300mah

    Online retailers killed the BB business model. And consumers are getting smarter by saying no to the useless extended warranty.

  • GrapeApe

    That Calgary location is little more than a Car Audio shop about the size of an average restaurant, no big loss there. The Barrie location is much bigger, but rather remote and built in ancticipation of a greater community density that did not follow after the Ontario recession.

  • Jason

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with whether or not the employees are huddling in a circle or on your a*s all day. There are simple solutions for that–ask for help or tell them you don’t need assistance. However, I do find that most of the employees are totally clueless of the products that they are selling.

  • jHunt

    Anyone remember Consumer’s Distributing?

  • nexus 4 life

    just got back from there launch event. it was nice free boos. i honestly gotta say the z10 is absolutely terrible. the douche bag tries so hard to hype up features i have seen since 2010. the phone steals so many outer elements from the iphone its not even funny. it was very laggy and buggy. the Q10 seems much better built and more thought went into it. the android apps are also gingerbread looking. not trying to bash rim but the z10 is massively overpriced. i will applaud them for event flo rida performed and they gave away phones which seemed rigged cause groups of friends were winning z10. some packy git got arrested for trying to steal 3 z10. that was amusing. all in all great launch event. i recommend waiting till spring for the Q10. Full touch is not rimss forte.

  • Simble

    I usually go to best buy to see a new product in action before going to buy it cheaper elsewhere. Maybe that could be there model, stock everything in a central warehouse to be delivered directly to your home and just have a few key stores that has everything on display to touch, poke, prod and squeeze…

  • Al

    Same thing happened in the UK with Currys, Dixons and PC World. All owned by the same company and all selling roughly the same things with some stuff specific. PC World would sell PCs, monitors, printers etc. Currys would sell the same stuff but also fridges and cookers. Dixons sold the same stuff but perhaps more cameras and phones.

    Got to the stage where every decent size town had all of them.

    Result? Despite being nearly the complete market dominant player they still somehow managed to make a mess of it. All Dixons stores closed, most of the smaller Curry’s stores disappeared and PC World ranks near the bottom for customer satisfaction on an almost annual basis.

    The UK is also far ahead of Canada for online shopping…once Canada catches up you’ll see the complete end of duplication like FS and BB in the same cities.

    • Toto

      A fellow Brit here. Totally agree. HMV, Jessops, Jacobs, Woolworths etc… closed down as well. Retail will take a big hit when Canada catches up on online shopping. It’s 10 years behind over here compared to Europe. Logically, everything SHOULD be cheaper online before you add the shipping costs.

  • Adam H

    What I don’t get is that if they want to cut costs, why continue the dual-brand retail strategy? It has got to cost much more money to operate two brands under Best Buy Canada Ltd. under the banners of Best Buy and Future Shop. Why would they continue to open small Future Shop stores? Why not merge the brands finally, to reduce operating costs of both brand names? I mean, you can already use your Best Buy/Future Shop gift cards at either store and online, the difference is only the branding. Convert to one brand, save money.

  • monsterduc1000

    BB did lose a sale from me to Visions because BB wouldn’t price match the tablet I wanted on boxing day. I couldn’t believe it…Why would they send a paying customer to the competition? I do enjoy the reward zone program though, but that little slight of not price matching will most likely have me shop elsewhere from now on.

  • LostMyJobToday

    As an employee at Best Buy for over 2 years, I would like to point out that standard employees make absolutely zero commission. Not on products, and not on warranties. The management team however, gets bonuses based on sales, so they are the ones pushing their teams to sell warranties. So please put that myth to rest.

    I know a lot of people had service problems at BB, I’ve seen it at my (former) store. A lot of the staff are kids who come from wealthy enough families that they don’t really need the job, and with the pay as low as it is, they just don’t care.

    Those of us who were invested in providing good service were just as frustrated as you when our fellow employees didn’t do their jobs properly.

    A lot of good people lots their jobs today. And it was quite a shock getting to work to see the store was closed. I feel bad for everyone who has to go through something like this, and wish everyone luck getting back on their feet again.

  • Clee

    Future Shop Cote-Vertu already closed.

  • EvanK

    I can confirm that Winnipeg Regent is gone, I dropped by there today and there was a security guard explaining that the store was permanently closed, no prior notice at all.

    Winnipeg had 3 Future Shop stores and now only 2 remain, however only in the southern part of the city. Best buy still operated a store in the southern part of the city next to a future shop, and another at Regent where the old Future Shop is. It always did seem a little excessive to have them right next to each other…

  • Bluebert

    This morning, employees of the Ancaster Future Shop in Southern Ontario showed up to work today and found the doors locked with a security guard blocking the doors.

    I knew these people. They were, for the most part, knowledgeable and hard working people. I used to work with them.

    They were given absolutely no notice.

    I would always go to Future Shop for advice. Today is a sad day for the Canadian retailer…

  • ironman

    I used to work at future shop, back when it was a separate company from best buy. It was fairly common to have a group of employees standing in one big circle. I remember when the store would be so empty, especially on the weekdays. We would literally have less than 10 customers during the 8 hr shift I worked. What else do you expect these kids to do during that time? Stand by themselves and stare at the wall? Yes they’re getting paid to work but when all the work is done and there are no customers, it wouldn’t hurt to get to know one another. Besides, the “huddle” was an advantage for some customers. More employees in one spot = more/quicker answers.

    Now, I do agree that some of the workers there were just in it for the money. Some of us had great knowledge while some of them were just pushing to make that extra buck. The problem with FS/BB in my opinion is that they decided to hire sales men instead of people who were passionate about technology. You also can’t expect every employee to know every single detail of all the products they were to sell. I worked in the audio department and we had at least 50+ different products in that department. What I do notice back then and even now when I shop at fs is that the older the employee, the more annoying and less knowledgeable they would be.

    At the end of the day, you can’t really expect someone getting paid minimum wage to give you 5 star service.
    I’ve had good and bad experiences at smaller retailers like NCIX, CC, Tigerdirect and etc. It really depends on which store and which employee helps you.

    • Alex

      Lol. You cannot remember 50 products with their specification. Go over ncix or memory express and you will know what does it mean to be a pro in your job.

  • paul

    This is what happens when a company loses their vision. Best Buy WAS a destination for consumer electronics – check their website now and alongside those products you can find mattresses’ and toothpaste.

  • The Real

    The Tech side of the retail market has taken a hit do to lack of innovation and products taking to god dam long to get to market and or only exclusive to certain ones! Futureshop employees are only bag leeches because they are paid commission and or minimum wage. That’s why I shop at Staples they are dumb as f**k like the clowns at Best buy and Futureshop on products but they leave you alone !

  • Jimmy.D

    Walking around in future shop is weird … You will most likely see every employee, because they are hawks. Best buy is more relaxed and is completely Amazing.

  • OgtheDim

    The 90’s has put out a recall on all retail concepts from that era.

    Sears and Best Buy are the hardest hit.

  • 45

    Damn, looks like I’ll have to travel an extra KM or 2 to go to Future Shop now. Oh well..

  • Sam

    Well as someone who’s NEVER been able to successfully order anything online from them as they’re totally incompetent, I guess I’ll have to find an alternative to them if they close down too many.

  • JB

    I can say that when I worked at a Future Shop in South Calgary we really took pride in having a lot of knowledge on our respective departments. That’s the thing though — we were each hired to be experts on certain products. It’s pretty ridiculous to expect a 18 year old kid paid to be excited about video games to help you with a microwave. But, we always tried to get people the help they needed. At least, the staff I worked with did. There were always a few bad apples, but you get that in every single retail store you’ll ever walk into.

    That said, I’m not terribly surprised by some of the locations that are closing down. The MacLeod store opened so shortly after they shut one down a few blocks away. There were already two stores in the south — why make another? Sales became less and less exciting. Every single year the same stuff would go on sale on boxing day, sometimes for the exact same price. They need to get creative with their sales, their flyers, everything. Rotating flyers with Best Buy ISN’T competition, and it got to the point where there flyers have almost been identical for awhile.

  • Kev

    It’s sad to hear the news about BBYC. I am a former employee of Future Shop. I worked for the company for about six years, up until the end of 2011. I worked in both sales and management and have always held the company in high regards, but unfortunately this new is not surprising to me. One of the reason I left the company was I expected this to happen a sooner than later, and I certainly don’t believe that we’ve seen the end of the company’s downfall.

    The main reason why I feel we are were we are is due to the lack of quality sales associates with the company. Ten years ago Future Shop was the go-to place to work for true sales driven people looking to make a great pay cheque. Today, the associates employed by the company have little drive to succeed, they give poor customer service, and have no plans to work long term for the organization. Walking into a Future Shop these days is simply upsetting. The sales staff express little enthusiasm, and most are less educated on the products they sell than the customers are. Over the past few years these behaviors have driven the consumer to alternative methods of purchasing electronics. At the end of the day the last thing I want to do is hand over commission to an associate who quite frankly did not go above and beyond to earn my business, thus I’m shopping elsewhere.

    Price in not the issue, Future Shop offer a price guarantee, but it’s simply not winning customers over. They need to change the behaviors of their staff in order to win us back as customers. YOU ARE COMMISSION BASED, NOW ACT LIKE IT!

    • MattyMattMatt

      But their commission structure last I saw it was set up to fail you unless you attached a dozen items to each sale. Plus, commission based selling can push people to sell the best product for them, rather than for the customer and that is a problem.

  • Toto

    I caught the customer service staff watching YouTube videos and blasting the speakers instead of serving customers who were waiting in line, at one of the Ottawa branch. I took a photo of them on my phone. They saw me and refused to serve me afterwards. The newbie assistant manager asked me to leave the premises. I complained to HQ, who filed the complaint but a week later it mysteriously vanished on their system. I’m glad they are in trouble. Sorry for the hardworking staff but I hope the ones who dealt with me get laid off.

  • Brent

    I find it funny how all these people are talking about price matching in the other store. If you just get the same price by price matching , then why not just buy it where its cheaper?

    • Toto

      Because BB will give an extra 10% of the difference when they price match

  • nely

    START SELLLING PHONES OUTRIGHT! Stop giving/getting money to/from Robellus!!!

  • Jebus

    I use to work for (no)futureshop. Luckily got out before all of this. The company laid off about 5 people from each store. These people were the lifers. Working there for 10-15 years. The ones that cared about their job and their company image. They were making the most money. They got horrible termination pay. The employees at the stores that closed down fully got $0. They didnt even know. You wake up and go to work and find out you have no job. Such a terrible company.

  • Simble

    Hold up, some of the stores have already closed and non of the staff were told in advance?? What the hell kind of company does that?

    I empathise with anyone who lost a job that they need or care about

  • Falco

    Severence or not, it’s a terrible way to tteat employees and customers. This is enough for me not to shop at either Future or Best. There are lots of other smaller elevtronic stores in Mississauga with better service and prices and more conveniently located, at least for me. In any case, I can’t see much hope for their future now that we know how they treat people.

  • Good

    I am not surprised. It’s all about online shopping these days where you can find better deals. I usual go to Best Buy/Future Shop to play around some products. lol

  • Judy Page

    If both stores close what happen to the warranty we just bought on a new TV.

  • Dylan.D

    I work at Future Shop, and can easily say it was a slow year. Boxing week was the slowest I have ever seen.

    People are just finally realizing they can purchase everything they want from their computer at home.

    I think the company needs to focus more on online ordering, picking up in store (for no shipping delay). What’s in place now is a reservation, you can’t actually buy product online and pick it up in store.

    It’s just something the company is clearly trying to think about, because the way shopping has turned today, it’s becoming less of a hassle to just order online.

  • mpsrent

    I could never understand the logic behind the side by side (almost) stores in the south end of Barrie, ON. As a consumer, sure it’s great but from a competitive perspective it doesn’t make sense when neighbouring communities north and south also have stores. The Barrie market can’t support two Future Shops and one Best Buy. It was a costly venture from a company that appears to be getting less and less competitive in the market place. Scale back the high rent big box outlets and focus on good service and competitive pricing.

  • Bby hint

    Beatbuy – Futureshop this company is finished they have no direction to go in and they are not changing fast enough the future is online the stores are empty more staff and products then customers . It’s sad they layed off 800 people fact remains this change
    Barely fixed anything other then backend money.

    My concept bestbuy – Futureshop is a sinking vessel all they have done is throw out extra heavy items so they can float longer before they sink . Upper management are fat cats who protect there pay checks and also there buddy’s while this company sinks . They state no more stores will close for awhile lol they better get a bank rupt sign because this is entire company is about to fail beyond what anyone thinks . They have morons running this company . Amazon – eBay will destory them and one amazon figured out to lower cost to finish bby it’s all over . And bestbuy – Futureshop wants to go online lol and thinks they r ahead of the game lol . That’s your million dollar plan. This stock should b 1$ I’m surprised smart man like stock holders are this stupid . These stores are empty take a drive and see .once target opens ur done

  • John

    Let me start off by saying I live in Quebec. As an English speaking American who hates to wait for tech to be shipped and returns frequently I find it almost impossible to get any kind of customer service at BB or FS in Montreal. So I use the online site to track store stock and just run in and buy what I want at the more expensive of the two stores and get the 10% off the difference. Lately the online stock is frequently wrong so I call. Out of the 100’s of times I’ve call (with cash in hand) trying any and all departments of multiple stores I’ve gotten someone on the phone all of ~5 times… PICK UP THE PHONE AND MAKE SOME MONEY!!

    It got to the point where I was thinking of opening a store within their store. By have people I hire to pretend to be customers and have them answer the phone and then hold what the person would like to buy (for a fee) or have them hold all of the high demand items in a shopping cart in the store. This is all because its impossible to get help when you know what you want (last one that comes to mind was the Transformer Prime with false stock information on the website).

    I no longer go to BB or FS unless its for that 70inch TV I want to try out for the super bowl only to return it on Monday! You push your customers around and treat them like cr@p and you get people like me who will eventually make you go bankrupt.