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Best Buy exec says shoppers will see ‘bold’ change to 167 ‘Express’ locations after chain experiences retail ice age

BEST Buy has confirmed it will expand its reach this year with 167 new and unique stores.

The tech retailer announced the move after opening its first Best Buy Express location in Canada last month.

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Best Buy is expanding by over 160 stores this year[/caption]

In partnership with Bell Canada, the self-proclaimed largest telecommunications company in the country, Best Buy created its Express model design with several unique features, per a press release.

They are smaller than standard Best Buy locations and come with a “curated assortment of tech” that includes at least 100,000 products either available in-store or through online pickup orders.

Customers can also get cell services through Bell, Lucky Mobile, and Virgin Plus.

Geek Squad specialists are still available at Best Buy Express for assistance with several services and protection plans for phones and gadgets.

While only one Express store has opened so far in British Columbia, Best Buy president Ron Wilson confirmed that 167 will be opened across Canada by the end of 2024.

POWERFUL PARTNERS

He called the decision “bold” and said Best Buy was “excited” to spread further across the country.

“Opening 167 stores in five months may be a North American first,” Wilson said in the release.

“It’s certainly bold in retail today.”

“We’re excited to see these new stores come to life as we double our store count, expanding our presence across Canada,” he continued.

“We’re proud to be able to offer our ultimate shopping convenience to new and existing customers.”


Best Buy confirmed its partnership with Bell Canada in January and quickly began a months-long planning process to introduce the Express stores throughout the year.

While Bell Canada provides the store operation and labor costs, Best Buy provides the electronics, marketing, and supply-chain services to the stores, per Retail Dive.

It’s unclear if American customers will see a similar Express introduction anytime soon, especially after a wave of closures this year and confirmation of more in 2025.

GONE FOR GOOD

Matt Bilunas, chief financial officer for Best Buy’s US-based operations, confirmed the closure details during a recent earnings call.

Reasons Behind Best Buy Closures

In a recent earnings call, Best Buy CEO & Director Corie Sue Barry noted various factors that contributed to the decision to close store doors:

  • Change in consumer spending habits
  • Lowering of product innovation during pandemic
  • Inflation
  • Supply chain-challenged years
  • Stagnant housing market
  • Macro pressures impacting overall retail
  • Low level of product innovation

“We will continue to close existing traditional stores during our rigorous review of stores as their leases come up for renewal,” Bilunas noted.

At least 15 Best Buy stores will be shuttered nationwide by the end of this year.

Another 10 or so were estimated to shut down in 2025.

The grim news also comes after at least 24 Best Buy stores were axed last year.

Best Buy shoppers can also expect to see a new mobile experience soon with “exclusive offers.”

A worker at the tech retailer also recently confirmed a crucial way to get returned merchandise for less.

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