Best Buy to reopen 800 stores in the US

Appointment-only shopping at Best Buy (BBY) will soon just become a memory from the dark times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The electronics retailer said in a blog post on Tuesday that it will reopen 800 locations in the U.S. on June 15, minus the need by customers to make an appointment. In other words, it’s almost back to normal shopping (masks will still be handed out to shoppers and extra sanitation will be a focus by employees) at least when it comes to Best Buy. The company operates nearly 1,000 stores in the U.S.

Best Buy will continue to offer its popular new curbside pickup option. In-home consultations will also resume after being held virtually since March.

To support the reopening, Best Buy will bring back 9,000 of its previously furloughed full-time and part-time employees and Geek Squad agents. That would still leave about 41,000 Best Buy workers furloughed as part of the company’s cost containment efforts tied to the outbreak. The furlough went into effect on April 19.

HOUSTON, March 23, 2020 .Best Buy sales associates help customers in front of the store located in northern outskirt of Dallas, Texas, the United States, on March 23, 2020. U.S. consumer electronics retailer Best Buy started to provide contactless sale on March 23, 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19. Best Buy has temporarily closed in-store shopping and service. (Photo by Dan Tian/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)

“Throughout the pandemic, nothing has been more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees,” said Best Buy’s retail president Ray Sliva in the blog post. “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.”

There will naturally be some limitations to the shopping experience in the early going.

The number of customers allowed inside the store at once will be capped at 25% of capacity, or 60 or more customers depending on the store size.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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