Best Buy Canada Ltd. is immediately closing several of its stores, including one in Winnipeg, as part of a real estate optimization plan.

In Winnipeg, the Future Shop on Regent Avenue closed Thursday. In total, the B.C.-based company is closing eight Future Shop and seven Best Buy stores across Canada.

Best Buy Canada said laid-off employees will receive severance support and access to employee assistance programs.

The company said they plan to open new smaller-concept and mobile locations across the country, over the next three years. They said the changes are aimed at improving customer service and reducing costs and redundancies.

Sears Canada is also laying off hundreds of staff nation-wide Thursday, including 15 people in Winnipeg. Sears spokesperson Vincent Power told CTV the company is reducing its staff by 700, and that the layoffs are spread evenly across the country.

In Winnipeg, the 15 people losing their jobs are from the Polo Park, Kildonan Place, Garden City and St. Vital Sears locations, said Powers.

Sears calls the layoffs part of an initiative to ‘right-size’ the company in order to make it successful.