Best Buy is pulling the plug on its Mall of America store.
The Richfield-based retailer, whose headquarters are just 4 miles away from the megamall, told store employees Thursday night that the company will not to renew its lease. Best Buy has stores nearby in Richfield and Eagan.
The last day of business at the Mall of America store will be Aug. 4, the company said Friday, adding that it will work to transfer store employees who are interested to nearby stores.
“Our Mall of America store has been a great way to showcase our brand,” Best Buy spokesman Jeff Shelman said. “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 7 miles of the mall.”
In a statement, the Mall of America said it has appreciated its partnership with Best Buy over the last decade. “Given the evolution of the market and our customer demands, we have instead decided to pursue a new first-to-market innovative concept for our guests,” the mall said.
The 46,000-square-foot Best Buy store on the mall’s third floor went into a space formerly occupied by Sports Authority. When the store opened in 2008, Magic Johnson was on hand to help cut the ribbon.
While Best Buy has locations at other malls, this one is unusual in that it does 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 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 e-commerce age, 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 is opening its first new big-box 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.