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Best Buy to close 15 stores in Canada

The Associated Press

Best Buy said Thursday that it will close 15 of its stores in Canada and cut about 5 percent of its workforce in the country as it tries to revamp its strategy there.

The retailer said that in the first phase of a long-term transformation, it will permanently close eight of its Future Shop stores and seven of its Best Buy stores. The company bought the Future Shop electronics chain in 2001.

In turn, Best Buy is cutting about 900 jobs at various sites across the country.

The company said the move is an effort to reduce unnecessary costs and reflects a changing retail landscape.

Best Buy and other big box electronics retailers have struggled with sagging sales as customers have turned to discounters or online sites for their purchases. Or they come to Best Buy to check out products or solicit advice from store staff before making their purchase elsewhere, a practice known as "showrooming."

The company said that during the next three years it will move into the second stage of its strategy, opening new, state-of-the-art Future Shop web stores and new Best Buy Mobile locations across Canada, where and when it deems appropriate. The company said that move will enable it to better serve its customers in both more locations and smaller markets across the country.

Best Buy Canada has 120 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile and 140 Future Shop stores across the country. Best Buy Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of U.S.-based retailer Best Buy Co. Inc.

Shares of Best Buy rose 36 cents to close at $16.26 and gained 9 cents in after-hours trading.