Starting in May, Best Buy plans to gradually reopen its stores to customers with appointments, CNBC reported. Shoppers will be able to schedule a time to meet with a sales associate to discuss a potential purchase of an appliance, talk through technology needs, and more. Best Buy, which has 1,000 U.S. stores, will begin by offering this service in about 200 locations. Consumers will be able to make an appointment online, by phone or through Best Buy's app, and prior to the appointment an employee will call the customer to explain how the consultation will work. Once in-store, a specific employee will shop with each customer while remaining socially distanced, and if the customer requests to try a product, it will be wiped down before and after use. The customer will be escorted to the register and out of the store by the employee, CNBC reported.
Best Buy will also be resuming in-home delivery, installation and repairs in early May, but with new safety precautions. The retailer's employees will be required to wear masks and gloves provided by the company, and will need to do a health check before working their shift via an app developed by Best Buy. During the COIVD-19 pandemic, Best Buy temporarily shut its stores, suspended all in-home services and shifted to a curbside pickup model. Best Buy also furloughed about 51,00 employees earlier this month, CNBC reported.
Total Retail's Take: Best Buy is one of the first retailers to release a reopening plan since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and not many have shared what the shopping experience will look like post-coronavirus. This announcement shows that the consumer electronics retailer is prioritizing getting its stores open and some of its employees back to work. The consultation aspect of the stores reopening may even boost in-store sales for the retailer. It will be interesting to see how consumers respond to Best Buy's reopening plan, and how other retailers' reopening plans compare as they start sharing them with the public. Best Buy's reopening will be closely monitored by other retailers eager to see what works — and what doesn't — as they look to bring their own physical stores back into the fold.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.