MASON CITY – As Best Buy Co., Inc. announced Thursday steep cuts in its stores and employees, the future of the Mason City store remains unclear.
The company has seen a major decline in sales at its U.S. stores. To cut costs, the company says it will close 50 big box stores and 400 positions at its corporate headquarters in Richfield, MN.
Best Buy did not name which 50 stores would be closed.
A call to the Mason City store manager Alex Crippin did not reveal much. “I can’t comment on any of that,” he said.
When asked how his store is performing, Crippin said “We’re here to serve the people of Mason City.”
The total layoffs due to the store closings were not announced, but it could be a high number. A typical store has about 100 employees.
A voice message left with the Best Buy media department was answered with the following email:
“We are taking the necessary steps this next year to evolve our total retail store strategy, and make it even easier for customers to shop with Best Buy and access our services. To achieve this, one of our first steps will be the closing of 50 U.S. Best Buy stores to fuel growth initiatives that will include Connected Stores that provide better service and product interactivity. We are deliberate and thoughtful when we make such decisions; we are working to ensure the impact of these 50 store closures on the affected employees will be as minimal as possible, while serving all of our customers in a convenient and satisfying way. On Thursday, March 29, we notified employees at five stores in the Twin Cities area, and one store in the San Antonio area, that their stores will close later this year as Connected Store remodels are completed in their markets. We recognize the impact this news has on the people who deserve respect for the contributions they have made to our business, and for customers who shop these stores today. We will be working to help the employees affected by these closings to find other positions inside Best Buy. If they don’t find new positions, or if they choose not to work at a different location, a transition including severance packages will be available once the stores close later this year. We will announce details about additional, specific store locations and timing for closings as they are finalized.”