Best Buy announced this week what it calls an “employee pay evolution,” which follows the return of employees who were furloughed from the company due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Strong consumer demand, combined with shopping experiences that emphasize safety and convenience, has helped produce our sales results to date,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said as part of the announcement. “None of this would be possible without the effort and energy of our front-line employees working in stores, supply chain facilities and customers’ homes. Today’s announcement on pay reflects an ongoing evolution and investment in how we compensate them for their critical work and is the result of clear and consistent feedback from field employees across the country."
This follows what the company calls an increase in “incremental hourly appreciation pay,” which began in March continues through August, for all hourly retail associates and supply chain employees. Best Buy had furloughed about 51,000 domestic hourly store employees, and retained about 82 percent of them.
Best Buy, starting on August 2, will increase hourly rates by 4 percent, while increasing the pay of those not yet at $15 an hour after that increase so they meet the $15 threshold.
Best Buy closed most of its stores in April for in-store service, although it continued to offer curbside pickup. Later that month, it resumed in-home services by Geek Squad, as well as some in-store consultations. The stores reopened in June, albeit with precautions and limited capacity.
The news came as Best Buy announced that its quarter-to-date sales had increased 2.5 percent over the same period the year before, and that online sales growth was 255 percent over the same time the year before. And in the time between June 15--when Best Buy reopened stores for shopping--and July 18, the company saw gains of 15 percent over the prior year.
The company, last week, also announced that it has begun requiring masks for all in-store shoppers.
Best Buy will announce full quarterly results for the second quarter on August 25.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.