Manitoba

Best Buy likely to hire many Future Shop workers: Winnipeg prof

Best Buy, Future Shop's parent company, announced Saturday it would be shutting doors at dozens of Future Shop locations nationwide and converting some into Best Buy stores.

66 locations close doors Saturday morning, 65 others to changeover to Best Buy stores

Best Buy likely to hire many Future Shop workers: Winnipeg prof

7 years ago
1:57
Best Buy, Future Shop's parent company, announced Saturday it would be shutting doors at dozens of Future Shop locations nationwide and converting some into Best Buy stores. 1:57

Winnipeggers will have to fulfill their electronic needs at somewhere other than Future Shop going forward, and at least one professor believes many of those laid off will be back to work at Best Buy soon.

Best Buy, Future Shop's parent company, announced Saturday it would be shutting doors at dozens of Future Shop locations nationwide and converting some into Best Buy stores.

From a total of 131 Future Shop locations, 66 stores closed their doors Saturday morning, and another 65 will turn into Best Buy stores in the near future.

It isn't yet clear how many will lose their jobs in any of three Winnipeg Future Shop locations, but about 1,500 will be lost altogether. Approximately 500 full-time employees and 1,000 part-time jobs will be cut across Canada.
The Future Shop on St. James Street had a notice posted on its front doors Saturday morning stating the store has permanently closed. (Alana Cole/CBC)

Karen Keppler, an economic professor at the University of Winnipeg, said the closures may not be as bad as they seem right now.

"The whole idea is that they are consolidating and reducing their footprint, but they are still going to need customer service and they are going to need more of it," said Keppler. "So, I think a lot of those people will be re-employed at Best Buy at their other locations.

"I don't know if the jobs will disappear, rather they will just re-adjust to other jobs that will be created because of the greater activity at Best Buy."

Employees, customers surprised

Still, the closure caught employees and Future Shop-patrons alike by surprise.

Kayla Widdifield, who has worked at a Future Shop in Winnipeg since 2006, was called in for a store meeting Saturday morning where her manager broke the news.

She is worried about how the cuts will impact her co-workers in sales.

“I feel extremely terrible for all the sales people and the full time people who got let go, or if they chose to leave, I feel for them," said Widdifield. "If this was their full-time job, they now need to go find something else.”

With one less place to buy electronics in Winnipeg, Jim Sturney knows where he'll be headed for future purchases.

“I knew that Future Shop had been purchased years ago by Best Buy," said Sturney. "Now ... there's only one game in town for electronics and that's Best Buy.”

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