Last week, lawmakers in the U.S. ordered all non-essential retail to close, keeping only the basics open. Some companies such as Gamestop didn't adhere to this order very well, considering themselves essential, but for essentials such as supermarkets, this wasn't a problem.
The case for Best Buy was a bit of a gray area, as people do need various goods in order to be able to make it through the quarantine period. These include webcams, keyboards, and monitors for setting up effective work-from-home stations, but refrigerators and freezers are also in high demand. Best Buy has now decided that it still wants to be able to continue business as usual, but with the shops closed for browsing in order to help combat the Coronavirus.
“The situation we’re facing as a company and as individuals is unprecedented and changing at a pace all of us are working to keep up with." said Corrie Barry, Best Buy's CEO. "We are making the best decisions we can with two goals in mind: protecting employees, customers and their respective families, while trying our best to serve the millions of Americans who rely on us for increasingly vital technology.”
For the next few weeks, you'll only be able to order stuff from Best Buy, or grab it as a pickup order -- so you'll have to find out beforehand which electronics you want prior to heading to the shop. Deliveries made to customers will no longer be delivered to their homes, and installation services will be rescheduled.
“We are seeing a surge in demand across the country for products that people need to work or learn from home, as well as those products that allow people to refrigerate or freeze food,” said Barry. “As we meet the demand for these necessities, we are adjusting how we operate in many ways to improve safety.”
Best Buy also notes that employees may work on a voluntary basis. Those feeling sick or uncomfortable coming to work may stay home and will continue to be paid. Those who are not on benefits will be offered two weeks of pay based on their average earnings from the last 10 weeks.