Big-box electronics retailer Best Buy announced Saturday it was closing six stores in the Chicago area, including stores in Addison, Deerfield, Mundelein and West Dundee.
The Mundelein and West Dundee locations, as well as stores in south suburban Matteson and Chicago, closed Saturday and will reopen Sunday for final sales, according to a statement from the Best Buy. Those stores will permanently close by May 12, the company said. The other stores will close during the summer.
Store employees were notified of the decision Saturday, and the company said it was working to help the employees find other positions within the company. Employees who aren't relocated will be offered a severance package, according to the statement.
"This was not an easy decision to make. 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 in the release.
The closing of the West Dundee store, located next to Target on Route 72 just west of Route 31, is a second big blow to the village after the J.C. Penney Co. store at Spring Hill Mall across the street closed last year, said West Dundee Trustee Norm Osth.
"We're going to have the loss of a very important business in town from which we derive a great deal of sales tax volume, and also the ancillary, secondary people coming to buy things from Best Buy who also buy things from restaurants, Target, the mall," Osth said. "It's a waterfall effect."
Addison Village President Larry Hartwig said that while the closing of the electronics retailer's store at 1038 N. Rohlwing Road is a disappointment, the store's location should make it relatively easy to market to new tenants. Sam's Club is expanding in the same shopping area, and an outlot is being built to house Chipotle, Panda Express, Sport Clips and Game Stop.
"It's an extremely busy area," Hartwig said. "I'm pretty confident that that's going to be an attractive site for someone."
On Saturday morning, shoppers who tried to go to the West Dundee store were greeted outside by employees who broke the news, and handed out $10 discount coupons valid Saturday only at any other Best Buy location.
Customers who were turned away had mixed reactions.
With all the recent talk of the beginnings of an economic recovery, Best Buy's announcement was surprising, said Mike Griffin of Lake in the Hills.
"The economy is supposed to be getting better, but maybe not for everyone," he said. "This affects not just shoppers, but these poor people who work here. I just doubt if they are going to absorb them in the other stores."
Others, on the other hand, said they weren't surprised at all.
"Now you can get everything online," East Dundee resident Toni Laudicina said. "These days when you shop in the store it's because you want something right away and you can't wait a couple of days for shipping."
Also, people are doing more comparison-shopping and can often find prices cheaper than Best Buy's either online or at other big-box stores, Laudicina added.
"This is a big disappointment," said JoAnn Ward of Huntley, who was looking for a replacement battery for her phone. "I am not surprised, because the economy is not that great. Look at how many businesses have gone under."
The Minneapolis-based retailer has another 53 stores in the Chicago area -- 44 big boxes and nine stand-alone Best Buy Mobile stores. The closures are among 50 stores that the company said it was shutting down nationwide as it struggles to trim $800 million in costs.
Last week, CEO Brian Dunn resigned after the board of directors began an investigation into his personal conduct.
Daily Herald staff writer Marie Wilson and Daily Herald news services contributed to this report