Best Buy to cut 950 jobs in Canada

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Richfield-based electronics retailer Best Buy is eliminating 950 jobs at stores in Canada to reduce costs.

Bloomberg reports the cuts represent about 6 percent of Best Buy's 16,000 workers in the country. Despite the cuts, the report quotes an e-mail from spokeswoman Amy von Walter, saying the company isn't closing any of its 265 stores in Canada.

The news from Best Buy follows a disappointing holiday shopping season that showed a slight decline in holiday sales when analysts had expected growth. That triggered the biggest drop in the company's stock in more than a decade.

Bloomberg reports the international unit performed worse than domestic operations did, during the holiday season. Nine-week holiday season sales fell by 8.1 percent in that division, compared to a 1.5 percent drop domestically, according to the report.

The company said the declines outside of the U.S. were driven by previous closings of 35 large-format stores in Canada and China and same-store sales in the division actually increased by 0.1 percent.

According to Bloomberg, Best Buy said in a statement, "We continue to identify opportunities to improve our performance and accelerate our business transformation. Today's news in Canada is consistent with that goal. These changes represent our effort to streamline our business and even better serve our customer."

Digital Journal reports the move will allow Best Buy to focus more on its flourishing online sales.

The report quotes Best Buy Canada president Ron Wilson, "We have seen our online sales grow by more than 50 percent in the past year and new services such as in-store reserve and pick-up more than doubling. These changes in the way our customers are interacting with us have led us to look at how to best deploy our staff to meet those evolving needs."

Best Buy said it will consolidate sales departments and reduce management layers at its Future Shop and Best Buy stores in Canada, according to the report.

It has been a difficult couple of days for Canadian retailers. The Toronto Star reports in just the last two days Best Buy Canada and Sears Canada have separately announced restructuring plans that will result in more than 1,500 job cuts.

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