A view of a Best Buy retail store on August 29, 2019 in San Bruno, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Best Buy is turning all in-home consultations virtual and limiting the number of customers in each store to 10 to 15 at a time, the company said in a statement.
Best Buy, Home Depot and Target said they’re reducing store hours to improve safety and keep up with demand, too.
These retailers are dealing with a surge in sales due to the coronavirus outbreak. At Home Depot, shoppers have been stocking up on masks, toilet paper and cleaning products as well as buying appliances like refrigerators and air filtration. At Best Buy, customers have been buying appliances to freeze or store food and tech-related products to set up home offices and help children remotely attend school. At Target, customers have been filling their carts with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, bottled water and more
Starting Wednesday, Best Buy said store hours will be 10 am to 6 pm, according to a company statement on its website. That will to continue through Sunday.
Starting Monday, Best Buy will also limit each store to 10 to 15 customers at a time. Customers will be escorted by an employee, who is six feet away. The company said it will have fewer employees working at any one time. It will pay employees who are not working two weeks’ pay.
Best Buy will continue curbside pickup and drop off of products that need repair by the Geek Squad — but the company said it will not allow people to cluster in groups to maintain safe social distancing. Online orders will continue to be shipped to homes.
All in-home consultations will become virtual and deliveries will be done, if permitted and safe, the company said.
“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 that keeps them connected to their school and work, and for the appliances necessary to help them store and prepare food,” Best Buy said in the statement.
Home Depot has seen an increase in sales for masks, hand appliance and cleaning supplies, as well as urgent home appliance purchases, like electrical and plumbing repair, refrigerators and air and water filtration, company spokeswoman Sara Gorman said.
The home improvement retailer’s stores will close at 6 pm starting Thursday to allow more time for cleaning and restocking shelves, it said in a statement on its website. Opening times will stay the same.
“As an essential retailer to the communities we serve, we’re committed to keeping stores open just as we always do during times of crisis and natural disaster,” it said in the statement. “Homeowners and businesses depend on us for urgent needs such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items like tarps, propane and batteries.”
Target said it would also reduce hours beginning Wednesday to allow more cleaning and restocking. All stores will close at 9 pm local time. It will also reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday morning for vulnerable customers who are older or have an underlying health condition.