HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – There's more bad news on the economic front out of Henrico County. Another store has fallen victim to tough economic times. Best Buy announced Saturday it's closing the store on Laburnum Avenue in Eastern Henrico.
The store across from White Oak Village is one of 42 stores on Best Buy's closure list, which was announced Saturday. This is another hit to an already struggling part of the county.
A usually bustling Best Buy parking lot was a virtual ghost town, as the store prepared for its final sale. Employees greeted the few customers before they even got to the entrance. Workers handed them packets of information about the closing. Consider it a farewell card or a parting gift of what to do next.
"It's sad," said customer Kim Cullingsworth. "I mean, that's what the economy's come to is closing stores."
The electronic giant's corporate office would not immediately disclose just how many workers will be laid off. Those employees were notified Saturday morning. Best Buy said it will work to find them positions within the company but if not, severance packages will be offered.
Cullingsworth, who also owns a business not far from the Laburnum store, said this is difficult news for the East End to swallow.
"This end of town needs people employed and without these stores that's going to be more people unemployed," she explained.
She believes those in Eastern Henrico are not taking care of their own.
"Another store gone due to the economy," she lamented. "Unfortunately, I don't think the East End supports their local stores. They're apt to go across town when we have a lot of things that you need here."
Best Buy's public relations department issued this statement: "This was not an easy decision to make. We chose this store carefully, and are working to ensure the impact to our employees will be as minimal as possible, while serving all customers in a convenient and satisfying way. "
The store is scheduled to close permanently in May. Once that happens, there will still be seven Best Buy locations left in the Richmond-area.
In all, fifty stores will close this year, including locations in Fredericksburg and Alexandria.