VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Fifteen Best Buy or Future Shop stores are closing across Canada, many of them in BC, as more consumers opt to shop online. A retail consultant predicts this is only the beginning.

Blame the ‘showroom effect,’ says Jim Smerdon, a retail consultant with Colliers International.

“The stores pay rent, hire staff, have specialists on the floor to describe and sell, ideally, products to the consumers,” he points out, “and then people when they’ve done their research go and buy cheaper online.”

“This is more likely round one of additional closings that are likely to come,” he believes.  “People have the opportunity to buy goods online for discounted prices from retailers that don’t have to pay rent in shopping centres or in high stream locations.”

There’s also more cross border shopping.

Smerdon says while hundreds will lose their jobs with more box store closures, he believes Walmart and Target will likely be there to hire.

The Best Buy stores closing are:
Queensborough, BC
Nanaimo, BC
Victoria, BC
Langford (Westshore Town Centre), BC
South Surrey, BC
Lachenaie, QB
Sherbrooke (SmartCentres Sherbrooke), QB

The Future Shop stores closing are:
West Kelowna, BC
Montreal (Forum Entertainment Center), QB
Laval (First Pro Ste-Dorothee), QB
Winnipeg (Regent), MB
Calgary (Macleod), AB
Ancaster, Barrie South, ON
Mississauga (Erin Mills), ON