Best Buy closes Canada's Future Shop

Closed Future Shop store in Calgary, Alberta

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US consumer electronics chain Best Buy has announced that it is closing its Canadian subsidiary, Future Shop, and converting 65 of its 131 stores into Best Buy outlets.

As a result of the move, 500 full-time jobs and 1,000 part-time jobs will go, the retailer said.

Future Shop, Canada's biggest electronics brand, had been owned by Best Buy since 2001.

After the changeover is completed, Best Buy will have 192 Canadian stores.

Best Buy said it would be investing C$200m (£106.5m; $158m) in its operations there over the next two years.

There would also be restructuring costs of at least C$200m, it added.

Analysts say the move will rationalise Best Buy's offer in Canada and get rid of duplication. Best Buy and Future Shop outlets are often found in close proximity, they say.

Other observers took a mixed view of the development. "Best Buy may now be the 'de facto' big-box tech store in North America, but that power grab is coming at a stiff price," said technology news website Engadget.

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