Best Buy to close Mall of America store in August

May 25–Best Buy is pulling the plug on its Mall of America store.

The Richfield-based retailer, whose headquarters are just four miles away from the megamall, told store employees last night that the company has decided not to renew its lease. The company also has stores nearby in Richfield and Eagan.

The last day of business at the Mall of America will be August 4, the company announced Friday.

“Our Mall of America store has been a great way to showcase our brand,” said Best Buy spokesman Jeff Shelman. “But, as we have said, we look at every lease that comes up for renewal and we consider a number of factors in making the decision, including, in this case, the fact that we have two other stores within seven miles of the mall.”

The 46,000-square foot store on the third floor debuted at the mall in 2008 in a space formerly occupied by Sports Authority. Magic Johnson was on hand to help cut the ribbon when that store opened.

While Best Buy has locations at other malls, this one was a bit unusual in that it did not have its own exterior entrance.

In addition, many of the mall’s shoppers are tourists from out of town who aren’t likely to be as interested in buying TVs or computers as taking advantage of Minnesota’s tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes. Given the mall’s shopper demographics, Best Buy’s Mall of America store also does not sell items like appliances, which have become a significant source of revenue for the retailer.

As it looks to remain competitive in the age of online shopping, Best Buy has been selectively closing underperforming big-box stores as leases come up for renewal. Last year, it closed 18 large-format stores, including locations in Blaine and Inver Grove Heights.

At the same time, it’s opening its first big-box new store in seven years this fall near Salt Lake City.

It’s also in the process of winding down about 250 unprofitable small-format mobile phone stores, most of which were located in shopping malls.

Best Buy has a little over 1,000 big-box stores in the U.S., including 13 in the Twin Cities region.

This article provided by NewsEdge.