Best Buy announces closures, but no plans for Issaquah store
April 3, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
Best Buy announced a plan March 29 to close 50 stores nationwide, but the electronics retailer did not outline the future for the Issaquah store.
“We will announce details about additional, specific store locations and timing for closings as they are finalized,” a company representative said in a response to emailed questions.
In February 2010, Best Buy — headquartered in Richfield, Minn. — announced plans to open a store in Issaquah. The store opened in the same retail center as Fred Meyer in November 2010, just in time for the holiday shopping rush.
The local Best Buy sprawls across almost 40,000 square feet in the former La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries.
In addition to the closures, Best Buy plans to eliminate about 400 positions in corporate and support areas, and cut costs by $800 million.
“We are deliberate and thoughtful when we make such decisions. We are working to ensure the impact of these 50 store closures on the affected employees will be as minimal as possible, while serving all of our customers in a convenient and satisfying way,” the statement continued.
Best Buy intends to assist employees affected by the store closures to find other positions inside the company.
“If they don’t find new positions, or if they choose not to work at a different location, a transition including severance packages will be available once the stores close later this year,” the statement continued.
The company outlined the cutbacks as Best Buy adapts to a changed landscape and increased competition from online retailers.
Best Buy plans to remodel big-box stores in the Minneapolis area and San Antonio to roll out a concept focused on services, such as technology support. The company also plans to open 100 Best Buy Mobile stores — smaller outlets focused on mobile phones and devices — across the United States next year.
The company did not announce locations for the planned Best Buy Mobile stores.
“As part of our multichannel strategy, we intend to strengthen our portfolio of store formats and footprints — closing some big box stores, modifying others to our enhanced Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile standalone locations — all to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability,” Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said in a statement to investors.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.