Best Buy employee
Photo by Best Buy

Best Buy Canada & Bell Rebrand The Source Into Best Buy Express

Best Buy Canada has teamed up with Bell Canada to re-brand The Source stores as Best Buy Express locations. A total of 165 The Source locations, which operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell, will now become Best Buy Express as per the strategic partnership. The remaining 135 The Source stores will close.

The stores, naturally, will focus on offering a range of consumer technology products as well as Bell products and services. The two companies will invest in creating an updated store experience as well as to expand the product assortment, improve customer experience, and offer training to employees.

With Best Buy’s buying power, the stores will presumably have a wider selection of products. Meanwhile, Bell products and services will include mobility, Internet, TV, and home phone services under the Bell, Virgin Plus, and Lucky Mobile brands.

With this strategic move, Best Buy will expand its presence in malls and smaller and mid-sized communities across the country, augmenting its standalone store presence throughout Canada. These will be smaller format stores that are easier to navigate and offer a limited selection of inventory.

For those buying online for in-store pick-up, the Best Buy Express stores will be listed as an option.

The Source stores

“We’re excited to collaborate with Bell on this unique venture to expand Best Buy’s presence to new communities across the country,” says Ron Wilson, President, Best Buy Canada. “We’re very proud of our store experience and these updated small stores are sure to appeal to new and existing Best Buy customers.”

“We’re excited to join forces with Best Buy to deliver a ground-breaking partnership that will resonate with Canadian consumers,” adds Blaik Kirby, Group President, Consumer and Small & Medium Business, Bell. “By combining Canada’s award-winning mobility and Internet from Bell, and converting The Source’s extensive retail footprint to Best Buy’s leading consumer electronics experience, we’re giving customers the best of all worlds for tech and telecommunications retail in Canada.”

Best Buy Express is expected to open in locations across Canada starting in the second half of 2024. 

Best Buy Canada has more than 160 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores across the country. The retailer opened in Canada in 2001 after acquiring BC-base Future Shop Ltd. Following the purchase, Future Shop continued to operate stores under that banner, but as a subsidiary independent of Best Buy Canada with its own differentiated experience as well. In 2015, Best Buy dissolved the Future Shop brand. The retailer closed 66 of the locations and converted all the others to Best Buy Canada.

The Source has had a long and storied history in Canada. The stores were originally Radio Shack locations, owned by Tandy Corporation then spun off in 1986 as InterTAN. In May 2004, InterTAN was acquired by Circuit City, which begun a legal battle between RadioShack Corporation and InterTAN due to an alleged breach of terms of their agreement. In 2005, Circuit City renamed the stores The Source by Circuit City, and in 2007, the retailer closed 62 low-volume stores across Canada.

When Circuit City sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, InterTAN sought protection from its creditors. Bell acquired The Source in 2009, removing the Circuit City part of the name and rebranding them The Source once again. The company has owned The Source ever since, exclusively offering its Bell-owned wireless services. It’s likely that despite the rebranding to Best Buy Express, Bell services will remain exclusive in these locations.