Best Buy is closing two stores in the Twin Cities — one in Blaine and one in Inver Grove Heights.

The Richfield-based retailer will not renew leases on those stores; the closing date is Oct. 28. Store employees were told Sunday.

"Nearly all our stores are profitable and closing them is not a part of our strategy," said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman. "As we have said for years, we will gradually refine our store footprint when leases come up for renewal and when it makes business sense."

The store in Blaine, at 10985 Ulysses St. NE., opened in 2007 when Best Buy was opening many stores to compete with now-defunct Circuit City. It is one of two stores in that city. The store at Northtown Mall will stay open.

The Inver Grove Heights store opened in 1974 and is near other stores.

While retailers such as Macy's, Sears and J.C. Penney have been closing hundreds of stores, as they try to reposition given the rise in online shopping, Best Buy has been closing fewer stores. Last year, it closed 11 big-box stores and 41 smaller mobile-phone stores. It has closed two other big-box stores this year.

"The pace of these occasional closures has not materially changed over the past several years and is not likely to," Shelman said.

He said Best Buy is also investing millions in the next two years to remodel nearby stores — one in Coon Rapids and one in Oakdale.

Best Buy hopes some workers will transfer to other stores as the retailer staffs up for the holiday season

Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113