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Best Buy shutters Future Shop

Electronics retailer Best Buy has ceased operation of the Future Shop brand. The US-based company acquired Burnaby, BC-based Future Shop in 2001. Sixty-six Future Shop stores nationally have been closed. The remaining 65 locations will be rebranded as Best Buy stores over the next week. This will give Best Buy a total of 136 large-format locations in Canada, as well as 56 smaller Best Buy Mobile stores. The websites of the two chains will also be consolidated under the Best Buy brand. Approximately 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time employment positions will be eliminated.

"Currently, 80% of our customers are within a 15-minute drive to a store and this won't change," said Ron Wilson, president and COO of Best Buy Canada. "We will continue to have a strong store presence in all major markets in Canada. Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly. Our first priority is to support them through this change."

Best Buy has also announced a $200 million plan to enhance its customer experience. The strategy will include the launch of a home appliance section in all stores, increased staff levels and online shopping improvements such as expanded in-store pick-up areas and a new a ship-from-store program. Advertising for the Future Shop brand was most recently handled by John St. of Toronto.

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