On Saturday, Best Buy announced that it would be closing 50 stores this year, including six Illinois locations, according to Chicago Business. In its press release, the company stated that three additional locations are expected to permanently close later in the summer.
In addition to the lost retail positions, the company recently announced that it plans to cut 400 of its corporate jobs. However, Best Buy stated that it would try to find other jobs within the company for the laid-off workers.
Most of the locations are scheduled to permanently close by May 12. The closures and layoffs mark the next step in the struggling electronics chain’s efforts to stay afloat.
In recent years, Best Buy has faced slower sales of expensive items like televisions, with many consumers turning to Amazon.com and discount stores like Target or Costco to save on big ticket items. The company is currently trying to avoid the fate of Circuit City, which filed for bankruptcy and permanently liquidated all of its retail stores in 2009.
For the hundreds of workers employed at the nixed stores, the announcement comes as the worst of news. It’s important to remember, however, that employees retain certain rights even after being laid off. These rights can include a severance package, unemployment benefits, continued health coverage, and other perks.
In some circumstances, employees have the opportunity to negotiate their severance packages in order to get the best deal from their former employer. When let go as part of a mass lay-off, however, it’s often harder to negotiate one’s severance package.
Best Buy plans to open 100 smaller Best Buy Mobile stores in the near future with the money gained from its cost-cutting measures. Hopefully, the company will have positions for many of its laid-off workers in the new stores.
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