future shop toronto

Future Shop chain shuts down suddenly

Nope, this isn't an early April Fool's Day joke: This morning, all Future Shop stores across Canada shut their doors abruptly, with employees informed of the closure as they arrived for work on Saturday morning. It's the latest shutdown in a brutal season for Canadian retailers that has claimed big-box stores (Target) and specialty retailers (Mexx, Jacob, and Smart Set) alike.

AM980 in London reports that a number of Future Shop's 131 locations across Canada will be rapidly converted into Best Buy stores (the chain was purchased by Best Buy in 2011 for $580 million), while the rest will be vacated.

The individual fates of Toronto's seven Future Shop stores (18 in total around the GTA) have not yet been confirmed. Nor is it known how many jobs will be lost across the country, or who - if anyone - can take over the leases of those massive retail spaces (on top of those already left empty by Target).

UPDATE: Details are trickling in about the closure, with the company confirming that 1,000 part-time jobs and 500 full-time jobs will be eliminated. Sixty-six Future Shop locations will be converted into Best Buy stores, while the remaining 65 are scheduled to close.

Meanwhile, employees are reporting that they'll be given severance pay and priority for new hiring, and all Future Shop products and services will be moved over to Best Buy. The company has confirmed they'll continue to honour existing gift cards and warranties as well.

Photo by William Mewes va the blogTO Flickr pool.


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