West Kelowna  

Future Shop closes for good

Just 16 months after opening its doors, Future Shop in West Kelowna has closed its doors permanently.

The store closed Thursday much to the surprise of employees who had no advance warning of the closure.

Tyler Frohlich had worked at the store less than three months. He says he received a phone call asking him to come in today.

"I thought I was in trouble or something," says Frohlich who last worked Wednesday.

"No one knew. I looked at the morning schedule board. There was no sign of it happening. It was sprung on everyone."

Frohlich says he thought sales were good. He was surprised the store was closing.

"Business was good. I don't see why this place got closed down," says Frohlich.

"I think we beat Kelowna in a lot of areas at times."

The West Kelowna Future Shop opened October 7, 2011.

The closure means the loss of between 40 and 45 jobs.

Here is Frohlich's audio interview:

In an email sent to Castanet.net confirming the closure, parent company Best Buy Canada says this is phase one of what it terms a 'long-term transformational strategy' to optimize the company's retail footprint across the country.

As part of this plan, Best Buy is permanently closing eight Future Shop and seven Best Buy Big Box stores today (Thursday, Jan. 31) in 'select markets nationwide.' 

The West Kelowna store is the only Future Shop in BC closing.

Five Best Buy locations are closing in BC, South Surrey, Queensborough, Langford, Victoria and Nanaimo.

A total of 900 employees are affected by the 15 closures.

The company says those losing their jobs will receive severance support as well as access to employee assistance programs and career transition support.

The company says over the next 36 months Best Buy will move into phase two of the 'Renew Blue' strategy.

That includes plans to open state-of-the-art new Future Shop Small-Concept web stores and new Best Buy Mobile locations across Canada where, and when, appropriate.

A sign on the West Kelowna store says any customer with items in for repair or is scheduled to have something to pick-up can do so at the Kelowna location beginning Friday, Feb. 1.

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