Best Buy Canada cutting 950 jobs, President says online orders surged over 50% in the past year

Ian Hardy

January 30, 2014 1:56 pm

Almost one year to the day, Best Buy Canada has announced another round of job cuts. Eight hundred jobs were slashed last year and at the time Best Buy execs stated they would embark on “Renew Blue” initiative and focus on a “long-term transformational strategy to optimize the company’s retail footprint.”

Today, the Vancouver-based retailer has decided to shed another 950 full-time employees from both the Best Buy and Future Shop brands, specifically noting they’ll be “consolidating sales departments and reducing management layers.”

Ron Wilson, President of Best Buy Canada, said, “We have been focusing on simplifying our store structure and increasing efficiencies to better align with the changing needs of our customers.”

Certainly unfortunate news for Canada. Wilson also stated that one of the reasons for the reduction is due to the fact that people are now buying electronics in a different manner. “We have seen our online sales grow by more than 50 per cent in the past year and new services such as in-store reserve and pick up more than doubling. These changes in the way our customers are interacting with us have led us to look at how to best deploy our staff to meet those evolving needs.”

Both Best Buy and Future Shop were quick to embraced the e-commerce and mobile shopping play by launching mobile apps on several platforms. In addition, apart from the major credit cards, the company recently started to accept PayPal payments for online orders. There are a total of 79 Best Buy stores and 149 Future Shop stores spread across Canada.

Source: Best Buy

  • Wild

    And I still get better service, in store pickup and best price -price matching from NCIX so I haven’t purchased a single thing from BBor FS for a long time.

    • therealphil8

      not expecting any ‘service’ from both bb and ncix…they are about the same…best price matching from ncix? bb price matches + 10% of the differences..so their price matching policy is better than ncix…

    • gommer strike

      And don’t forget NCIX’s abominable 15% restocking fee on returns – which Best Buy/Future Shop does not charge!

    • realitycheck

      restocking fee on this open box motherboard that i have no way to prove was not a return.

    • Wild

      Not a chance BB & FS has blocked me several times on a price match with thier excuses, not to mention NCIX has a much better selection and have added products to their inventory at my request. So you can have the 10% BB BS. NCIX has always served me well.

    • ToniCipriani

      Pfft. Memory Express, 25% price match and shipping match.

    • Nexzen

      FS and BB > NCIX… I wouldn’t purchase from a place I know 15% is guaranteed gone if I need to return….

    • HeyYoWL

      NCIX is mostly computer focused. If you’re buying computer stuff from BB/FS, you’re doing it wrong. Like all asian stores, you go for the good deals, not for the service. If you expect good service, you don’t know anything about how these asian stores do business.

      I once had an untouched PSU that I tried to return to NCIX that they wouldn’t take at 7PM, because their repair desk was closed so no one was there to check the UNOPENED box. There was no shrink wrap on the thing because that’s how I bought it, but the inside stuff was completely wrapped up still. I had to fight with a manager to get the return done because I didn’t want to drive back.

    • realitycheck

      NCIX pricematching sucks… they choose to pricematch only when its convenient/still profitable for them . So when i tell my wife or friends to go pricematch at ncix they always say its too much hassle and they would rather go to best buy or memory express to do the pricematching

    • Tom

      NCIX is awesome (especially if you build your own PC – a lot of parts cost about the same as they do stateside!)

    • realitycheck

      whatever, Ncix’s prices are COMPARABLE if not worst than other competing computer stores in Canada. You’d basically have to wait for the sales to get the deals people are raving about. If you need a computer now and need to piece together specific hardware(like a lot of my clients do), doing it at NCIX will cost MORE.

    • Wild

      Prove it

    • realitycheck

      Zotac GeForce GTX 770 2GB or 4GB. Check the comparison. Even worst buy is cheaper than ncix during a sale event.

    • Wild

      Ok I will play your game. Zotac GeForce GTX 770 BB $349.99

      NCIX price match $349.99 plus $10 MIR and bonus game.

    • realitycheck

      its 359 AFTER rebate. Who wants to deal with rebates?

      so its cheaper than NCIX’s AFTER rebate price AND takes free returns unlike NCIX’s restocking fee.

    • Wild

      BTW try and PM NCIX and BB will rape you with a shipping fee excuse.

    • realitycheck

      is shipping the only option? BB’s location is everywhere, ncix is only in the GVA. End of the day NCIX’s benefits is mediocre for all the praise its getting.

  • aamd11

    Still don’t understand the idea of having both Futureshop and Best Buy compete with one another. Eliminate one brand, consolidate employees/resources, (most) problems solved

    • bembol

      They wanted to keep the Canadian name brand(?).

      They need to stop forcing Extended Warranties on customers. I have family & friends who bought their Big Screen at Costco, it’s simple you walk in and out. If you want the warranty, it’s posted and you decide.

      Last time I bought something off Best Buy was last year because they were the only store to have iPhone 5 in stock.

    • gommer strike

      Everywhere I go, extended warranties are always mentioned, but rarely pushed and shoved upon you. Once upon a time Future Shop reps went by the “six no’s rule” before they’d let you slide without buying extended warranty.

      These days, seems to me that they mention it, but don’t bully you into getting it.

    • KiwiBri

      I give them One chance and say if they ask again, I’ll walk out and order online. Which I have done!

    • HeyYoWL

      It’s because they get a lot of commission off warranties, and sometimes next to nothing for the item itself at FS at least.

    • KiwiBri

      Yes, I understand. But I admit, its been years since I had hassles with this.

    • Mythos88

      I just say, “No, I never buy them” and that is all it takes.

    • Super_Deluxe

      Where i live there is a Bestbuy so close to a futureshop, like literally 2 stores in between them and they sell similar items, similar pricing, and similar extended warranty plans.

    • Tom

      In Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa, I always see Futureshop in the exact same mall as Best Buy.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      It’s simple business. Where I live there are two locations (1 BB, 1 FS) and they are almost right next to each other. It’s not simply competition, but rather another place as a GO-TO.

      For example, say there was an item you wanted but it was only available at 3 locations. Best Buy, Walmart, and Future Shop. If you go to best buy, and don’t like what they have or don’t like their service, you go to Future Shop, etc etc etc.

      The point being, they have a huge percentage of potential buyers. Thats a 60% chance of sale in-between those three stores alone. The more stores, the higher chance of sale.

    • Anonymous501

      I disagree. If the BB/FS brands consolidated then you’d only have two choices (in your exmaple). Walmart and BB/FS. Wal-Mart tends to focus on low costs stuff, while BB/FS offers a wider array and higher end stuff.

      I don’t think FS/BB would lose people to walmart if they merged. At least not enough to warrant the expense of running two chains. I think the target audience of FS/BB is a bit different than that of wal-mart. I don’t think someone looking to buy a better TV is going all of a sudden by a cheap tv from walmart because the bb/fs brands merged.

    • Nexzen

      Business wise bestbuy gets the money either way, they rather the customer price match a product from Bestbuy at Futureshop than at NCIX or Memory Express or any other other store. It’s like Rogers having Fido and Chatr… either way counts as a Rogers customer.

    • Anonymous501

      I completely agree. It’s seems like a giant waste of resources to operate two chains that mostly sell the same stuff. Someone mentioned they did it to keep the Canadian name, but really, if they closed future shop’s and there were only best buy’s left, where else would people go… lol.

      I think it’s a giant management failure to run both franchises. There’s FS/BB’s within a block of each other in many places.

      How much money did they blow building both stores, employing two completed sets of staff, infrastructure, fixed/variable costs… etc…

      Idiots :)

    • aamd11

      At the very least they should make one of them more of a RadioShack/source like business, operate in malls, lower rent etc instead of having 2 giant stores, as Tom correctly pointed out, right next to each other in many cases

  • UserMS

    I wonder if I will have a job tomorrow…. Everyone is gonna ramble about not caring and going to buy somewhere else. But I’ll be here thinking of where to work next.

    • Annoyed

      I feel for you, I was one of the cuts last year and it sucked. Best of luck!

    • Super_Deluxe

      Me too unfortunately :(

    • Frederick Edwards

      Sad but necessary. Tried to shop there last month, found the aisles kind of bare of Bluetooth speakers, tried to ask a sales agent for help, she pretty much told me just to shop online. ok then..

    • bigshynepo

      Last Month? During the busiest shopping month of the year? At the most popular retailer for holidays gifts? And you’re saying it was hard to find what you wanted, one of the most popular gifts of the season?

      Some Best Buys sell $250,000 a day in merchandise in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you probably just didn’t shop soon enough or ask when stock was arriving. The girl was right though, if you don’t mind delivery, online is easier and stock availability is easier to monitor/secure.

    • gommer strike

      Don’t wonder. Take immediate action and control of your future. As I’m sure you already know, there are a *ton* of ex-best buy/future shop employees who work at the Apple Store. With your experience you could apply nearly anywhere.

      Spam those resumes out far and wide. Abuse the crap out of LinkedIn and you’ll find something.

    • KiwiBri

      So that explains why the Apple Genius’s arnt as “smart” as they used to be a few years ago. (Serious comment)

    • gommer strike

      whoa whoa whoa, that’s not very nice of you :'(

      heheh, well maybe they just didn’t pay enough attention to their indoctrination – oh I’m sorry, I meant to say training

    • KiwiBri

      See above edit. was getting the floor staff mixed up with the genus bar people

    • southerndinner

      You’re a real class act

    • Dylan D’Croix

      Me as well…

    • Jonah Emery

      This may sound harsh, but try your hardest to get out of retail. It’s just not worth it. Soul crushsing.

  • Corey Owen

    This is some crap.

  • KiwiBri

    hmm.. last year they blamed people for “window shopping” then going home and ordering online..
    Maybe they need to get more competent management… and become more competitive in their sales.
    I’d hate to see them totally dissappear, but I expect to see a big re-brand happening and what out for the “express” style stores soon. TheSource may get some comptetition in the malls etc if this happens

  • Blas

    Saw this coming a mile off.
    Top guys all have several pristine California beach front properties and garages filled with expensive cars, while the average BB and FS employees struggle to pull under 23k a year.
    Constant badgering and desperation for commission is what drives most customers to buying online instead of instore. Managers constantly threaten sales employees with firing them if they can’t make their quotas for the week (which include “service plans” and “set up services”) leading to the desperation from employees, which in turn alienates the customer. Company structure has caused their down fall.
    Funny this is commissions are usually paid out by the manufacturers for the products sold, and not by the stores themselves. So you’re basically of the chopping block if the company has to pay you out of their own pocket. And the displays for “Samsung” “LG” and “Sony” and all the other big name guys all play money to the store for advertising. Not chump change either. Yet somehow they can’t seem to find the money to keep their doors open.

    • gommer strike

      That’s the “new” model that really should extend everywhere.

      Gone are the old days of buying, keeping inventory, then marking up. That’s the old way of doing things.

      Best Buy/Future shop simply rent out a huge swath of space, and then say to Samsung “Want to showcase your product here in our store? YOU pay us”. This is the reason why Best Buy doesn’t give a hoot nor do they ever contest price matches(and sometimes, they don’t even verify your PM). This is because they aren’t the ones who stand to lose on a PM. It’s the vendor. Very sneaky/clever of BB/FS.

      Contrast this against the old way. Everything has a shelf life, and if you don’t sell it, you’re losing $$ on it and forced to deeply discount.

  • Dylan D’Croix

    I won’t mention details for my security, but this was a huge shock, big cuts. Looks to be mostly to shed people actually making money in the company that aren’t on commission. (ie managers, supervisors, full-timers)

    It kind of makes me sick that a company would do something like this without any kind of warning. Obviously BBC hasn’t been doing well, and we had our worst holiday numbers ever, but all employees are left in the dark until they are let go.

    I don’t know how they expect to gain employees trust, by continuously shooting everyone down for no reason. Makes it hard to understand why anyone is there.

  • Nachotech

    Best Buy and FutureShop stores are great for getting a firsthand look at electronics before you buy them cheaper online.

  • Toxic

    Actually Best Buy/ FutureShop are lying about the exact number. As of 3pm Atlantic time there were 1700 employees let go. One being my wife only after being promoted to Operations Manager. All/most operations employees, ConnectPro techs, merchandising, and Customer Service employees were terminated.

    • HeyYoWL

      So who were kept..?

    • Toxic

      Commission reps in most depts, cell shop reps, GMs, a dept. Sale manager, .ca rep, and a very selected few in cust. service.

    • Anon

      yep, where I work the connectpro dept was left alone intact, but that was the only one. Lucky for me as I was in the bestbuy cuts last year also (exactly 1yr to the day)
      Anyways it is sad to see this happen. Good people you know and work with loosing their jobs is never good. Its a tough world out there, and this kind of stuff sucks

    • KiwiBri

      wow. sorry to hear this.

  • stann

    They might as well fire them all since BB has the worst staff! Their cashiers can’t do simple math, their employees have no clue what they’re selling. One time I helped a guy buy a camera while waiting, cause nobody was around to even tell him that Galaxy Camera doesn’t come in black.
    I go to Futureshop when I need to price match something. My experience with them is times better.

    • KiwiBri

      It really depends on which store you frequent. I started got to FS nowdays.. which is unbelievable to me as I hated the West End FS stores.. but in the East End I found some helpful and knowledgable staff.

  • KP

    Trends… Rise of #DirectSelling making Intelligent use of Technology… Most folks still don’t realize “not many physical stores and employees” are required for online biz… Where all these traditional brick & mortar retailers are focussing their investments…Just my 2cents.

  • hoo dat

    Walked into a Future Shop a couple of days ago, wandered around TVs and electronics in general for a good 20 minutes before walking out without being approached once. It’s not like they were busy, plenty of staff standing around chatting, farting around on their phones or gazing aimlessly into some abyss or another. A small local dealer got my business that day simply because they made me feel like they valued my business. Future Shop, Best Buy, et al, deserve to crash and burn as far as I’m concerned. I know my comment may come across as cold, I do realise that real people are losing their jobs but Best Buy and especially Future Shop have awful customer service, I’ve never bought a large ticket item at either store. Sometimes it’s not just price that sells a product.

    • realitycheck

      See there must be a middle ground with how the agents interact with customers. You seem to be in a vocal minority. Going trend is, ‘leave me a alone i’m just looking’. And so the agents cater to that mentality and alienate a select few that still value the full purchasing experience like yourself.

    • hoo dat

      I appreciate the fact that there are some excellent folks who work in these stores but they are very few and far between. I have had one decent experience in all the time since Majestic Electronics became Future Shop and Best Buy moved into Canada, how many years is that now? It’s not like I didn’t try and do business with them, but other stores often offered similar or lower pricing, but more importantly than that, far better customer service. The formula really isn’t that hard to earn a customer’s business.

  • KiwiBri

    At this rate, the store will become a kiosk of terminals at the front with a storeroom at the back!

  • Jonah Emery

    I worked at FutureShop in the past and have been a customer for years. I order online now. In my view this company has lost customers because they are extremely aggressive in selling bad warranties and pushing accessories. With business going badly you get pounced on by 4 salespeople now. Just leave me alone, let me look, and let me buy what I want.

  • Jonah Emery

    They no longer accept returns on over ear headphones. lol

  • JM

    It’s sad that the company itself asked employees to start selling online and even ranked you according and then used that as an excuse to fire so many competent people. Custommers will receive less service than ever with so few people left to serve them. They are shooting themselves in the foot. Vert sad for everyone who lost their jobs.