Best Buy Corp. is dropping the shop-by-appointment model it put in place in its first wave of store reopenings.
The consumer electronics giant said that, starting June 15, more than 800 Best Buy locations across the country will begin allowing a limited number of people inside — without an appointment. To enforce social distancing, Best Buy will limit 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, it 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.
In line with the change, Best Buy is bringing back more than 9,000 of its furloughed full- and part-time store employees and Geek Squad Agents. The retailer will continue to offer contactless curbside pickup and in-store consultations for those who prefer to shop that way.
Best Buy started reopening its stores in May, offering in-store consultations that required the customer to make an appointment. In making the decision to allow customers to visit without an appointment, the retailer said it evaluated health and safety data for each community where its stores are located and worked closely with field leaders to ensure it could provide the safest possible shopping experience.
“Throughout the pandemic, nothing has been more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees,” said Ray Sliva, president of retail, Best Buy. “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.”
In addition to limited capacity, Best Buy is requiring mandatory self-health assessments, including temperature checks, for all employees before each shift via the company’s employee app and is requiring employees to wear protective gear, including face coverings, at all times. It has added acrylic shields at checkout counters and is conducting frequent sanitization of areas and surfaces within the store.
Meanwhile, Best Buy will also begin resuming in-home consultations, which have all been conducted virtually since March. The retailer will continue to offer virtual consultation.