Best Buy announced in early April that it was closing most of its in-store services and in-home support, but would offer curbside pickups. On April 15, the company said that it would furlough nearly all of its part-time in-store employees. And while it kept most of its full-time employees on board, Best Buy also said its CEO and board members would take 50 percent pay cuts through at least the start of September.
Now, Best Buy's CEO has announced that that the consumer electronics sales giant will resume both home visits and some in-store consultations, with the company taking significant safety precautions for both.
For in-home service, the company said, they will follow all CDC guidelines. They will schedule 24 hours in advance, they will confirm that both the service worker and the customer are not ill, and they will discuss the safety precautions they're taking. Best Buy workers will also clean and disinfect their equipment, and also keep their vehicles restocked with "masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes and spray, workspace cones, trash bags" and more.
When in customers' homes, the workers will wear protective gear and also keep a six-foot distance at all times. They also will "prepare a workspace by marking a perimeter that gives us enough room to work in, and that provides a safe amount of distance from you and your family."
Geek Squad Remote Support will remain in effect as well, for those who prefer not to have a home visit.
Best Buy has also announced that it will once again offer in-store consultations, in about 200 stores starting in May.
"Customers will be able to schedule appointments with Blue Shirts or Agents for their tech essential needs. Since each customer’s appointment will have a dedicated sales associate, there will be a limited number of customers in the store at any one time to ensure appropriate social distancing takes place," the company said in a blog post.
These visits also will be conducted with the employees wearing gloves and masks, which will be provided by the company. Employees must also conduct self-health checks prior to each customer visit, through a special Best Buy app.
"Looking ahead, we are planning how we will begin welcoming customers back into a number of our stores across the country," Best Buy CEO Corie Barry wrote.
"At some point soon, we will invite customers to shop Best Buy in person, in innovative ways that follow strict social distancing practices and use proper protective equipment. Any in-store shopping experience will initially be by appointment only, and we look forward to bringing this experience to some of you soon."
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.