Updated at 9:10 a.m. April 14, 2012
Best Buy stores in San Diego County are safe from the latest closures, the company announced Saturday.
“This morning, we have confirmed the remaining 42 store locations [out of 50] that will close,” Best Buy said in a news release (attached as PDF). … Employees of these 42 stores have been notified this morning.”
About 15 Best Buys operate in San Diego County, including stores in stores in La Mesa, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Santee.
But seven stores operated by the electronics retailer will close in California—in East Palo Alto, Westwood, Manteca, Moreno Valley, Ontario, Pittsburg and Tustin, said the company based in Richfield, MN.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Best Buy said. “We chose these stores carefully, and are working to ensure the impact to our employees will be as minimal as possible, while serving all customers in a convenient and satisfying way. But we also recognize the impact this news has on the people who deserve respect for the contributions they have made to our business.”
The company said it will be working to help affected employees 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,” the company said.
Best Buy said three of the 42 locations remained open Saturday; the rest are closed Saturday, and will reopen Sunday, April 15.
“Customers currently doing business with these stores are being contacted [Saturday],” the company said.
“We expect most of these stores will permanently close by May 12. Three additional locations are expected to permanently close later this summer.”
Original story of March 29, 2012:
Best Buy officials announced Thursday the electronics retailer will close 50 of its U.S. big box stores and lay off 400 employees at corporate and support levels. San Diego County has at least 15 Best Buys, including stores in La Mesa, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Santee.
Specific stores targeted for closure have not been announced.
The news comes after the company based in Richfield, MN, released its fiscal year fourth-quarter earnings, showing a $1.7 billion loss in revenue. In addition, the Global Post reported the company aims to open 50 stores in China by 2013. The company did not say which stores would close.
The news of closures and downed profits are not a surprise to many, as Best Buy reported shortfalls after its third quarter in 2011 as well.
In January 2012, and also suggested it was getting closer and closer to bankruptcy every day.
Going forward, Best Buy's retail store strategy is to increase points of presence, while decreasing overall square footage. Based on results from store pilots conducted in 2010 and 2011, Best Buy will be deploying "at-scale" market tests of its new Connected Store format in the Twin Cities and San Antonio metro areas.
The store remodels are expected to be completed before the 2012 holiday season. Connected Stores are remodeled big box stores that focus on connections, services and multi-channel experience through a total transformation of both the store and the operating environment.
The company expects total big box square footage in these combined test markets to be reduced by almost 20 percent through store downsizing and closures, while points of presence will increase by more than 20 percent.
"These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure," CEO of Best Buy Brian J. Dunn said in the release. "We intend to invest some of these cost savings into offering new and improved customer experiences and competitive prices—which will help drive revenue. And, over time, we expect some of the savings will fall to the bottom line."
Richfield Patch will update readers as more information becomes available. The Star Tribune reported that Dunn was speaking to investors Thursday morning on Twitter. Ken Stone contributed to this report.