By Laura Woodward
Brad Shankar didn’t think skipping a Saturday morning work meeting at Future Shop was a big deal. But it was — since his managers announced every Future Shop store in Canada had closed down immediately.
“I thought the [Saturday morning] meeting was just a quarterly meeting where we normally just talk about what the plans are, if there’s anything upcoming like important sale dates. But no. It was a meeting with our managers just to say our store was closing,” said Shankar, a Future Shop sales associate and a second-year journalism student.
Shankar had been working at the Future Shop on Dixie and Dundas streets since November 2012.
But after Best Buy Canada — which owns the Future Shop stores — “announced it is consolidating the Future Shop and Best Buy stores and websites under the Best Buy brand,” he and 1,500 other employees lost their jobs as of March 28.
In total, 66 Future Shop stores will be closed and 65 will be transformed into Best Buy locations. But Shankar’s location is not one of them.
“Customers came to the store to see what’s going on with their serviced products at Geek Squad, but all the doors were boarded up,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because people who don’t have their laptops have to call a number to see what’s going on with their products and I’m not sure if they’ll get through.”
Shankar says his location laid off employees last year, but he had no idea “something [of] this scale would happen.”
Shankar plans to reapply at Best Buy in Sherway Gardens.
Future Shop hired an employment assistance agency that helps employees with the transition period — offering guidance on interviewing, resume construction and the general job market.
“As for my store I only know of two managers that were transferred over, plus the people from Geek Squad, as for everyone else we all have to reapply and hopefully there’s some luck because I’m not sure how many positions are available,” Shankar said.
Those kept on will be in charge of removing the inventory from the store as it plans to be fully out by April 4.