Starting today, Best Buy is limiting its US stores to “contactless” curbside service, allowing only employees into its stores, according to a statement from the company. Orders placed on the Best Buy website or via its app will be delivered to customers’ cars outside its stores by employees.
The curbside system includes returns and exchanges, and in an email to customers, Best Buy says “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.” Best Buy has suspended its in-home installations and repair services, as well as its product trade-in and recycling services.
“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,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement. “As we meet the demand for these necessities, we are adjusting how we operate in many ways to improve safety.”
As of Monday, Best Buy will only deliver large items like refrigerators and TVs to customers’ doorsteps and not bring the items into houses. “We know that this change will be inconvenient, and we are truly sorry,” the email to customers states. “It was made with our employees’ and your best interests at heart.” Customers who have Best Buy orders scheduled for installation in the next 30 days will receive an email about delivery options.
The company says it’s made some adjustments to compensate employees who continue to come in to work, and anyone whose hours are eliminated by the new restrictions “will be paid for two weeks at their normal wage rate based on their average hours worked over the last 10 weeks.”
The email to customers says all Best Buy employees who are working right now are doing so “on a voluntary basis” and says any employee who feels sick and stays home will be paid for that time, anyone exposed to COVID-19 is being asked to stay home — with pay— and Best Buy is paying employees who may need to care for children at home (but the email does not say how much or for how long).
We’ve reached out to Best Buy for more details about how it’s compensating its employees during the coronavirus outbreak and will update if we hear back from them.