OPERATIONS

Best Buy Canada cuts 950 jobs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vancouver, Canada — As part of a restructuring Best Buy Canada will be consolidating sales departments and reducing management layers in Future Shop and Best Buy stores, resulting in the layoff of about 950 full-time employees across both Future Shop and Best Buy brands. All store employees were notified individually about these changes and those impacted were provided with severance packages.

“We have been focusing on simplifying our store structure and increasing efficiencies to better align with the changing needs of our customers,” said Ron Wilson, president and COO of Best Buy Canada. “We have seen our online sales grow by more than 50% 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 Canada is the second major Canadian retailer to announce significant job cuts on Thursday, Jan. 30. Sears Canada also announced it would eliminate 624 store and mid-management positions.

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REAL ESTATE

Target plans Hawaii store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target plans to open a new store in the city of Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, in March 2015. The store will be located as part of the Pu‘unēnē Shopping Center.

This will be the first Target store in Maui.

The Maui store will be approximately 140,000 square feet, and will offer a selection of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, as well as a Starbucks and a Target Pharmacy. The Maui location will employ approximately 200 team members. Target will host job fairs approximately two months prior to the new store opening, at which prospective candidates may apply and interview for open team member positions. Candidates may also apply online or at in-store kiosks located in all Target stores approximately three months prior to the new store opening.

“Target is excited about our first store on the island of Maui,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior VP of stores in the Western region. “Since opening our first store in Hawaii in 2009, we’ve created strong partnerships with the local community and delivered our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise to guests throughout the islands.”

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FINANCE

Study: Wal-Mart supercenters benefit California communities

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sacramento, Calif. – Wal-Mart supercenters in California benefit communities by supporting additional job creation, small business growth and more robust sales tax revenues. According to a new economic impact report conducted by economist Lon Hatamiya of the Hatamiya Group, on average, California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters fared far better on taxable retail sales than those communities without Wal-Mart supercenters.

In addition, total taxable retail sales in California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters increased by an average of 20.3% after the opening of those stores, and total taxable retail sales in California communities without Wal-Mart supercenters decreased by an average of 11.7% during the same time period.

On average, California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters experienced even stronger gains in the number of retail business permits issued than those communities without supercenters. Total retail business permits in California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters increased by an average of 48.5% after the opening of those stores. Total retail business permits in California communities without Wal-Mart supercenters also increased, but only by an average of 20.3% the same time period.

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