Yesterday, Best Buy joined Apple and hundreds of other retailers in making the decision to close its retail stores to its customers. The company made the announcement on its website, saying that stores are now switching to a curbside pickup model for those who still want to stop by their local store to get a product. They will also continue to provide delivery services from purchases made through the Best Buy website and mobile app.
As reported by The Associated Press, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said that the company is trying to make the best decisions possible to protect its employees and customers while trying to meet the demand of customers who are seeking technology to help them adapt to working from home.
“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. 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 … 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 … As we meet the demand for these necessities, we are adjusting how we operate in many ways to improve safety.”
In a note from the CEO on the company’s blog, Barry says that customers can still place an order for in-store pick up, but they will have to wait in their car and an employee will deliver it to them. For those who do not place an order before stopping by the store, employees will check store inventory from them and process the transaction curbside.
“Beginning Sunday, March 22, we will offer contactless curbside service at all locations across the country where state or local laws allow. Rather than ask you to come into our stores, any items you order on BestBuy.com or the Best Buy app will be delivered to your car curbside. If, for any reason, you didn’t order the product in advance and the product is in stock in the store, one of our employees will be more than happy to go get it in the store and sell it to you while you remain in your car. This service also extends to returns and exchanges, the period for which has been extended on most products so that you have more time. Only employees will be allowed in the store, but we are determined to serve you as fully as we can. Unfortunately, we are temporarily unable to continue our product trade-in and recycling services. For those who want to continue shopping with us online or on the app, we will, of course, still get you what you want.”
The company has also made the decision to suspend installations of large delivery products like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and freezers starting on Monday. They will, however, offer doorstep delivery to get the item as close to someone’s house as possible without creating risk for their employees.
“Beginning Monday, March 23, we will no longer deliver these large products into your home and will, instead, offer free doorstep delivery. This means we will take the item as close as we possibly can to the front door of your home without bringing it inside. We know that this change will be inconvenient, and we are truly sorry. It was made with our employees’ and your best interests at heart. If you have an order scheduled for installation in the next 30 days, please expect an email or text from Best Buy about your delivery options.”
According to Barry, all Best Buy employees who are working right now are doing so voluntarily, and all those who do will receive a temporary pay increase. He also says that all employees who are not working right now are still being paid.
“Speaking of our employees, everyone working right now is doing so on a voluntary basis, and all hourly employees who volunteer are receiving a temporary pay increase. Additionally, anyone feeling sick is told to stay home, and they will be paid for that time. Finally, anyone exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 is also told to stay home, with pay, and we are paying employees who may need to stay home to care for their children.”
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