RICHFIELD, Minn — Best Buy's CEO says the company will be strongly encouraging, but not requiring, customers to wear masks when some of its stores reopen next week for in-store shopping appointments.
Best Buy announced last week that it would be adding in-store shopping by appointment at 200 of its 1,034 stores, in addition to the already available curbside pickup.
CEO Corie Barry explained Wednesday to TODAY what the experience will look like for customers and employees.
Customers will first need to go online or walk up to one of its stores to set up an appointment time. Then, customers will have a pre-call or pre-visit where the shopping process will be explained. Once it's time to go into the store, each customer will have a "concierge" assistant who will walk the store with you "at a very safe distance," Barry described.
All employees will wear masks and gloves and customers will be strongly encouraged to wear masks as well. The stores will have masks available if customers want to wear one, but don't have one with them.
Barry noted that the size of Best Buy's stores will help with social distancing during visits.
"When they come in the store, we have the unique ability to social distance in a way that's quite different, especially using this appointment model, and so we are not requiring, but strongly encouraging [customer masks],'' Barry said.
"Our goal is that we can stay apart, and work together, while keeping people safe," Barry explained.
The checkout lanes will have sneeze guards, and every credit card reader will be sanitized after each use.
In April, Best Buy furloughed more than 50,000 of its hourly employees. Barry said they don't know yet when those employees will be asked back, but "our hope is we will be able to soon."
Costco and Whole Foods are among the retailers who are requiring customers to wear masks. Others, including Target, are requiring masks if local governments say so.