February 28, 2018
Best Buy reportedly is shuttering all 250 branded mobile stores in the United States, effective May 31.
The closures do not affect 52 mobile stores operating in Canada, according to Reuters, which cited an internal memo sent to affected employees by CEO Hubert Joly.
In 2015, Best Buy shuttered all 131 Future Shop stores in Canada, converting 65 to Best Buy Mobile outlets.
The consumer electronics chain opened the smaller (1,400 square-foot) mall-based mobile stores in 2006, focusing on mobile phones and other portable media devices compared to general CE and household appliances at larger (40,000 square feet) big box stores.
With smartphones sales stagnating worldwide, Best Buy saw mobile store operating costs exceed revenue. The stores, which represent about 1% of Best Buy total sales, are about three miles from a standalone Best Buy – a reality Joly believes won’t negatively affect consumers.
“We feel good about the opportunity to retain customers and transition them to another one of our sales channels,” Joly told staff, adding the company would assist affected employees with severance and job opportunities in other Best Buy stores.
Best Buy reports fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2017) financial results March 1.