Best Buy to close in Lansing after losing business to Northwest Indiana

Best Buy is closing in Lansing after 24 years.

Tony V. Martin

The Best Buy at 17151 Torrence Ave. in Lansing is closing after 24 years due to customers going to shop in lower-cost Northwest Indiana.

Minneapolis area-based Best Buy decided not to renew the lease of the 40,000-square-foot big box store just off Interstate 80/94 and about a mile south of the River Oaks Center mall. It employed 28 full-time workers and "some" part-time workers.

“It’s never an easy decision to not renew a store lease," Best Buy said in a statement. "This was a business decision and has no reflection on our staff or the hard work they have done. Sales have declined in our Lansing store in part because customers are crossing state lines into Northwest Indiana to shop and take advantage of the lower sales tax rate.”

The sales tax is 9.5 percent in Lansing, and only 7 percent across the border in Indiana. Best Buy has nearby stores in Highland and Merrillville.

"It's not the fault of employees," Best Buy spokeswoman Bianca Jones said. "Basically, sales have declined because customers are crossing the state line because of the lower sales tax rate."

Any employees who don't transfer to other area Best Buy locations will receive a severance package, Jones said. 

"We'll try to keep as many as possible," she said.

The Best Buy in Lansing, which opened in 1993, is slated to close on Oct. 28.

In recent years, many businesses have shuttered along the state line in Lansing and Calumet City, including Carson's Clearance Outlet, Kmart, Popolano's, Ultra Foods, Sports Authority and Target.  

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.