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Best Buy reopening 800 coronavirus-closed stores with no appointments needed

Shawn M. Carter

Best Buy announced Tuesday that 800 of its U.S. stores will once again allow people inside.

The retailer in March switched its in-store shopping format to curbside pickup in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. It had also suspended delivery and in-home services.

“Throughout the pandemic, nothing has been more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees,” Best Buy President of Retail Ray Sliva said in a statement. “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.”

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The reopenings are set for June 15, and Best Buy said it would bring back more than 9,000 previously furloughed full- and part-time workers to aid with the reopening plans.

For in-store shopping, and for at-home installations and other restarted services, Best Buy will roll out a number of robust safety measures, including social distancing and cleaning.

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It will limit store capacity to 25 percent, about 60 or so shoppers at a given time, and install floor decals to help customers to safely distance themselves from other shoppers and employees.

The store will also provide face coverings to customers who don’t have them, and workers will need to adhere to health assessments before work, including a temperature check.

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“Before deciding to allow customers to visit without an appointment, we evaluated health and safety data for each community where our stores are located,” the statement read. “We worked closely with our field leaders to ensure we could provide the safest possible shopping experience for everyone involved and will continue to follow these steps when considering whether to make a similar experience available at our remaining Best Buy stores.”

The announcement follows Best Buy’s first-quarter earnings report in May, which showed net income fell to $159 million, or 61 cents per share, from $265 million, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier. Shares were down 2.46 percent Tuesday but are up 24 percent on the year.

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