01/30/2014 01:34 EST | Updated 04/01/2014 05:59 EDT

Best Buy Canada to lay off 950 staff

Best Buy Canada is laying off 950 people at its Future Shop and Best Buy retail stores after being hurt by intense competition during the important holiday sales period.

Stores in British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario are being reorganized with “Stores-within-a-Store” concepts, working with vendor partners including Microsoft and Samsung, according to the company.

Online competitors such as Amazon and retail store competitors such as Wal-Mart have cut into sales of electronics  in Canada.

Best Buy Co. recently revealed that revenue fell 0.4 per cent to $12.8 billion in the holiday period with same-store sales dropping by 1.4 per cent.

Best Buy Canada said it is reducing management and sales staff and restructuring to take advantage of online sales.

“We have been focusing on simplifying our store structure and increasing efficiencies to better align with the changing needs of our customers,” said Ron Wilson, president of Best Buy Canada, in a press release. 

“We have seen our online sales grow by more than 50 per cent in the past year and new services such as in-store reserve and pick up more than doubling. These changes in the way our customers are interacting with us have led us to look at how to best deploy our staff to meet those evolving needs,” he said.

Last year Best Buy Canada shut 15 stores. 

The Best Buy chain is also under pressure in the U.S., where it has closed 50 stores offering a range of TVs and electronics in favour of smaller outlets offering smartphones and tablets.

The retail sector in Canada is seeing many layoffs, with Sears and other retailers undergoing major restructurings. 

Best Buy Canada operates 79 Best Buy stores and 149 Future Shop stores after buying the Future Shop chain in 2001.