* Retailer faces pressure from online competition
* Big-box stores to close, smaller outlets to open
* Best Buy now operates 260 stores in Canada
* About 900 workers to be laid off, paper says
TORONTO, Jan 31 Best Buy Co Inc's
Canadian division will close 15 of its big-box stores across the
country and lay off 5 percent of its workforce in a drive to cut
costs, the consumer electronics retailer said on Thursday.
The U.S.-based company, which has been facing pressure from
online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc, will close
eight of its Future Shop stores and seven Best Buy branded
stores out of a total of about 260 total stores across Canada.
About 5 percent of its Canadian workforce will be laid off,
a company spokeswoman said in an email. The National Post
newspaper pegged the total number of layoffs at 900.
"The move was based on an extensive review of Best Buy's
retail footprint in Canada in an effort to reduce unnecessary
costs, eliminate redundant operating systems and to optimize its
real estate strategy to reflect a changing retail landscape,"
Best Buy said in a statement.
Most of the stores to be closed are in the western Canadian
province of British Columbia, with the rest scattered through
Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
The company said it would open an undisclosed number of
small-concept web stores and mobile locations.
Best Buy Canada has struggled against the tide of customers
browsing in its showrooms, but buying online from other