How to open up stores in the COVID-19 pandemic is up for consideration across the retail industry, and Best Buy has determined to restart operations in 200 stores across the U.S. to offer an in-store, by appointment consultation service.
Consumers will be able to schedule appointments with Best Buy staffers for their essential tech needs. Each customer making an appointment will work with a dedicated sales associate, while the stores will limit the number of customers in the store at any one time to maintain social distancing.
Consumers can schedule appointments by phone, online, through the Best Buy app or via live chat. They will receive visit confirmation via text and email. An employee will call consumers making appointments before their visits to go over the shopping process, explain safety measures and get more information about their needs. At appointment time, customers will go to the store entrance and check in. At that point, a host will go over the consultation and safety process then introduce customers to the Blue Shirt or agent employee who will shop with them.
Best Buy will impose employee protective measures including use of protective gear including gloves and masks, which the company will provide, as well as mandatory employee self-health checks before each shift conducted via a new app, social distancing as supported by signage and enforced by employees, and sanitization of areas and surfaces in the store before and after each appointment.
Best Buy also said it is returning to the kind of in-home work many customers have been asking for. All employees will follow new safety guidelines before, during and after an in-home visit that meet or exceed CDC guidance. These requirements will apply equally to any third party entering the home on the company’s behalf.
Consumers can still order products on BestBuy.com, through the app or over the phone, and have it delivered to the home or brought out to the vehicle through the contactless curbside service. The retailer also offers free, virtual in-home consultations.
“Looking ahead, we are planning how we will begin welcoming customers back into a number of our stores across the country. 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,” said Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy.