News is that Future Shop is closing locations across Canada, effective immediately. A company spokesman says 500 full-time and 1,000 part-times jobs will be lost. They are shutting down 66 Future Shop stores effective immediately, and another 65 stores will be closed for a week while they are converted to Best Buy stores. This is the official statement from the company:
“Future Shop and Best Buy are consolidating under the Best Buy brand. That means, the products, services, and features you have come to expect from FutureShop.ca can be found at BestBuy.ca.”
So this is the end of the Future Shop brand in Canada. The existing Future Shop locations will be converting into Best Buy, and that’s that. Is that it though?
The likely reality for at least some Canadian shoppers is this. I bet some people didn’t know that Best Buy owned Future Shop. Same company, different brand name. Canadians, can, in some situations, become patriotic when it comes to these types of issues. Future Shop was always thought of as being Canadian. With a shift to just Best Buy, some consumers might not find that appealing. Not everyone was “in the know”.
To me though, when it comes to online, Best Buy was able to enjoy a double dip. In other words, when you go into Google looking for a product, Best Buy was able to enjoy greater domination because not only do you get a BestBuy.ca result, but you also would get a FutureShop.ca result. Essentially they will be cutting their online presence in half. Perhaps that’s small potatoes, but it’s a reality. If anything, it makes it easier for other Canadian technology retailers to get some traffic via the search engines like Bing and Google.
My prediction? Next up, we will have Staples Canada with some shake-ups. I’ve seen far too many blow out prices from them lately to think otherwise. This is a trend, no question about it. Perhaps it will be The Source? It’s not enjoyable to speculate on these issue because people have jobs and this isn’t a light subject to think about. That said, retail is going to get rocky and Target was the tip of the iceberg.