Best Buy to close location at Hampshire Mall in Hadley Oct. 31

Last modified: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
HADLEY — Electronics chain Best Buy will close its Hampshire Mall store on Oct. 31.

The store employs a total of 64 employees, 26 of whom work full-time. All employees will be given the chance to apply at a nearby store, and those who don’t will be eligible for a severance package, according to company spokeswoman Carly Charlson.

Charlson said the closure is in line with the company’s standard “course of business.”

She said the decision to shut a store’s doors often comes from increasing rent costs, declining sales or the overall “strength” of the mall. She would not go into specifics as to why the company chose to close its Hadley location, which opened in 2005.

“The lease was up for renewal and we made the decision not to renew the lease,” she said. “Obviously we don’t take any of these decisions lightly.”

Best Buy, which is based in Richfield, Minnesota, will also close its location in Lanesboro at the Berkshire Mall on Oct. 31, according to the Berkshire Eagle.

Employees of the shuttered western Massachusetts stores and the customers they serve will be forced to turn to the closest nearby stores at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside or in Enfield, Connecticut.

Hampshire Mall management did not return a request for comment about the future of the 20,000 square foot Best Buy site.

Best Buy is the largest consumer electronics retailer in the United States and in recent years has faced ever-increasing competition from the online giant Amazon.com.

Best Buy has increased its focus on its online business partly in an effort to hone in on shoppers who use the store as a “showroom” to try out products before buying them at a different online retailer. Most online orders are now shipped within two days, and shoppers are given precise delivery dates.

Best Buy is also focusing on appliances, which accounted for 10 percent of its sales mix in the latest quarter. Appliance sales surged 20.7 percent in the latest quarter. It’s highlighting appliances in specific kitchen and home areas within its stores.

On the Route 9 retail stretch Best Buy faces competition from Manny’s TV & Appliances, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears Hometown Stores for appliances. Meantime, Wal-Mart and Target both have significant electronics departments.

In its quarterly earnings report released last week, Best Buy posted a 3.9 percent revenue increase from $8.46 billion to $8.53 billion compared to the same time last year.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Chris Lindahl can be reached at clindahl@gazettenet.com.