March 28, 2015 8:35 pm
Updated: March 30, 2015 7:14 am

Saskatoon Future Shop closes

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Watch above: Customers stopped by Saskatoon’s Future Shop Saturday, only to find its doors were locked. Amber Rockliffe reports.

SASKATOON – Marv Harder was one of many people who stopped by Saskatoon’s Future Shop Saturday, only to find its doors locked.

“I’m actually very surprised, we just came over here to have a look around. This is the first I’ve heard about the closure,” he explained.

The Preston Crossing location will reopen April 4 as a Best Buy.

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The company is closing 65 Future Shop locations across Canada for a week, and then reopening them under the Best Buy name. Sixty-six Future Shop stores will be closed permanently.

READ MORE: Future Shop is done: 66 stores gone for good, 65 to become Best Buy locations

The company says 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs will be eliminated. It is unknown if employees at the Preston Crossing location will keep their jobs when the Best Buy opens.

Lawyer Lior Samfiru with the Toronto firm Samfiru Tumarkin LLP said he’s been asked to review the severance packages of a number of former Future Shop employees, and he’s concerned with how they’re being treated.

“They were all called in to meetings early this morning – and they didn’t know of course what the topic was about – only to find out the stores were closing, that they were out of a job, that they were all handed severance letters,” Samfiru explained.

“Their severance offers were not in compliance with their legal entitlements. My concern is they’ve been offered significantly less than what I would assess them at; what the law would provide for them.”

Best Buy Canada President Ron Wilson said workers will receive severance, employee assistance and outplacement support.

“Any decisions that impact our people are never taken lightly; our first priority is to support them through this change,” Wilson said in a statement.

Samfiru said he plans to contact Future Shop to negotiate better severance packages for his clients.

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