Best Buy says it will allow customers to shop in 800 of its stores without an appointment starting Monday, June 15. It’s also rehiring thousands of furloughed workers.
The appointment-only policy was put in place in April as a safety measure to protect employees and shoppers from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Best Buy stores remained open while other retailers shut down because it was designated as an “essential” business.
While customers will no longer have to make an appointment to shop at a Best Buy store, each location will limit the number of consumers who can be inside the store at one time. The company will also continue to provide contactless curbside pickup and in-store consultations.
“Throughout the pandemic, nothing has been more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees,” said 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.”
The company says it will continue to aggressively promote safety at all of its locations. Measures include enforcement of social distancing and limiting occupancy to 25 percent of capacity. That works out to about 60 customers in the store at any given time.
Once a store reaches its limit, Best Buy said it will allow an additional shopper inside for every shopper who exits the store. Stores also will have floor signage to help customers and employees maintain 6 feet of distance at all times.
At the same time, Best Buy said it is bringing back more than 9,000 furloughed full and part-time store employees and Geek Squad agents. The company will also resume in-home consultations, which have all been conducted virtually since March.
“We will adhere to enhanced safety protocols while in customers’ homes, and we’ll continue to offer virtual consultations for anyone who prefers that,” the company said in a press release.
Ensuring employee health
Employees will go through mandatory self-health assessments, including temperature checks, before each shift. All employees will wear protective gear, including face coverings, at all times. Shoppers are also asked to wear face coverings.
Before lifting the appointment-only policy, Best Buy said it evaluated health and safety data for each community where stores are located. The 800 stores allowing shopping without an appointment represent about 80 percent of Best Buy locations.
“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 said. “This is the next step in that plan.”