Best Buy Mobile stores get the axe

If you happen to live near a shopping mall (or have visited one at any point in the last decade), there's a good chance you've encountered a Best Buy Mobile store. These small, standalone stores focus entirely on mobile sales, and there are a hundreds of the around the US. That's all set to change, as Best Buy has announced that it will close many of these stores later this year.

According to Reuters, 250 Best Buy Mobile around the country will be shut down on May 31, 2018. That represents a significant portion of the Best Buy Mobile stores in North America, but in its quest to become more profitable in the face of increasing competition, Best Buy can't really keep underperforming stores open.

By and large, it seems that Best Buy Mobile is indeed underperforming. Apparently, those 250 stores that are being shut down have only contributed 1% to Best Buy's overall revenue, which is just a blip on the radar. It seems that Best Buy would rather depend on its mobile sections inside its big box stores for its phone revenue.

Though Best Buy didn't say how many employees this move is going to affect, the good news is that it won't leave them out in the cold entirely. It'll help relocate interested employees to other positions within the company, but those who decide to pursue other opportunities once their store has been closed will also receive severance pay and assistance finding a new job.

In the end, Best Buy was feeling the pinch because mobile phones are no longer the money makers they once were. Though Best Buy Mobile launched at a time when margins were much higher, these days it's harder to make money with stores that only focus on mobile sales. With Best Buy planning to continue mobile sales in its main retail stores, this certainly isn't the end of its efforts in the smartphones space, but it is the end of an era for the company.