Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) announced that customers soon will be able to shop at the majority of its stores without an appointment. Starting June 15, more than 800 Best Buy locations across the country will begin allowing a limited number of people inside. The company will also continue to offer contactless curbside pickup and in-store consultations for those who prefer to shop that way.
“Throughout the pandemic, nothing has been more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees,” says Ray Sliva, president of retail. “We’re now confident we can provide a safe experience for shoppers who want to visit our stores to browse, see tech products firsthand and get helpful advice from our Blue Shirts or Geek Squad Agents.”
Best Buy stores will continue to enforce social distancing by limiting the number of customers inside the store to 25% of capacity, which allows approximately 60 or more customers in a store depending on its size. If a store reaches the limit, stores will queue people in a line until they are able to shop. Stores also will have floor signage to help customers and employees maintain 6 feet of distance at all times.
To support this expanded store experience, Best Buy is bringing back more than 9,000 previously furloughed full- and part-time store employees and Geek Squad Agents.
Meanwhile, Best Buy will also begin resuming in-home consultations, which have all been conducted virtually since March. It will adhere to enhanced safety protocols while in customers’ homes, and continue to offer virtual consultations for anyone who prefers that.
In March, Best Buy quickly switched to contactless curbside pickup and suspended deliveries, installations and repairs in homes. Recently, it resumed those in-home services, with added safety precautions, and created the in-store consultation service.
Before deciding to allow customers to visit without an appointment, the company says it evaluated health and safety data for each community where its stores are located.
“Since the pandemic began, we’ve strived to provide customers with as many options as possible for how to safely get the technology they need,” Sliva says. “This is the next step in that plan.”
In addition to limiting the number of people inside the store and enforcing social distancing, Best Buy also be following other safety guidelines that meet or exceed CDC recommendations, including:
- Mandatory self-health assessments, including temperature checks, for all employees before each shift via Best Buy’s employee app.
- Requiring employees to wear protective gear, including face coverings, at all times. Customers are also asked to wear face coverings, and they will be provided if necessary.
- Frequent sanitization of areas and surfaces within the store, including demo products and checkout counters.
- Acrylic shields at checkout counters between customers and employees.
- Dedicated shopping hours (Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. local time) forelderly and vulnerable shoppers.
Customers can go here to find more information about their local Best Buy store, including the current hours and services available.