Best Buy is limiting store hours today and its foot traffic to 10-15 people at a time on March 23rd, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
America's favorite retailer says that it will reduce its store hours to 10am-6pm local time starting today, March 18th. On March 23rd, Best Buy will serve customers more through curbside pickup. The company says it intends to obey national order and limit its in-store foot traffic to just 10-15 people at a time. Those who are allowed in-store will need a Best Buy employee as an escort. The employee escort will maintain the required distance of 6 feet so as to avoid close contact with store visitors.
Employees who can't come to work or who decide to stay out to obey the social distancing mandate will still receive two weeks' pay as compensation.
Best Buy obeys presidential mandate
Best Buy is instituting new rules that will comply with the presidential mandate. US President Donald Trump said some days ago to limit gatherings to under 100 people, perhaps to no more than 50. With COVID-19 still spreading, the President is now urging people to socially distance themselves and to only gather in places with 10 or fewer people. Best Buy is limiting their in-store foot traffic to around 10 people.
A number of Best Buy customers won't be affected by this. Many who want to purchase items can simply go online and do so quickly. For those who have an item to return or who need repairs for computers and other mobile devices, the wait may be hard, difficult, and downright impossible to manage.
Best Buy employees will act as an escort. This means that they'll be able to observe in-store interactions and keep an eye on things. With smaller foot traffic in-store, there's always the chance that someone will take to break the law. In times of panic, lawbreaking usually rises with panic levels.
There's an obvious need to compensate employees because only a few at a time can come to work. The federal mandate means that many employees will have to work from home. Perhaps those in Geek Squad, for example, can give advice over the phone or online via Best Buy's tech support chat system. Folks who repair mobile devices must come to work, though, but other Geek Squad members will be home, online.
Best Buy takes unique path in coronavirus pandemic
Best Buy's approach to the coronavirus pandemic is different from that of Microsoft, who closed all its retail stores in light of the pandemic. Like Best Buy, Microsoft says it will pay its workers for the next two weeks. It's good to see companies continuing to send paychecks to their employees in this difficult time.
Sprint is closing 71% of its retail stores, leaving some open (including repair centers) for as many employees and customers as possible. Best Buy is keeping its stores open for now, though with limited hours. Whether the retailer decides to eventually close stores temporarily or not is a matter of future observation.