Best Buy is letting shoppers back into stores without requiring appointments at more than 800 locations as of June 15, though shoppers that want to can still make appointments. The retailer will cap the number of shoppers inside a store at 25% capacity (or roughly 60 shoppers, depending on size of the store) and require those waiting to form a line outside.
As a result, Best Buy is bringing back more than 9,000 of its previously furloughed full- and part-time store and Geek Squad employees.
The retailer is also:
- Resuming in-home consultations, which have all been conducted virtually since March, while following safety protocols in customers’ homes.
- Requiring self-health assessments, including temperature checks, for all employees before each shift via its employee app.
- Requiring store employees to wear protective gear, including face coverings, at all times.
- Encouraging shoppers to wear face coverings, in addition to offering them to those who need them.
- Frequently sanitizing areas and surfaces within the store, including demo products and checkout counters.
- Adding acrylic shields at checkout counters.
- Offering dedicated shopping hours (Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. local time) for elderly and vulnerable shoppers.
The retailer furloughed more than 51,000 hourly store employees, including nearly all part-time employees, in April as it sought to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, on March 22, Best Buy moved to a “contactless” curbside service, allowing only employees inside stores for more than a month. Plus all in-home installation and repair services had been temporarily suspended and rescheduled, and all in-home consultations were conducted virtually.
Best Buy said it was still able to retain about 81% of last year's sales in the first quarter even with its stores closed to shoppers. Best Buy first began letting shoppers back in stores on an appointment-based schedule. The retailer will continue offering contactless curbside pickup and virtual consultations for those who prefer it.