Best Buy logo and store on South Edmonton Common. Friday, May 20, 2022, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Artur Widak | Norphoto | Getty Images
best buy It said on Friday it was laying off hundreds of store workers across the country as more shoppers buy online and sales of consumer electronics weaken.
A company spokesperson confirmed the layoffsAnd But he refused to share the exact number. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
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In a statement, Best Buy said it is “evolving our stores and the experiences we offer to better reflect changes in customer shopping behavior, as well as how we organize our teams to ensure we continue to deliver our experiences, products and services in the best possible way.”
The retailer has framed the job cuts as a shift in its priorities, saying Best Buy plans to add thousands of customer-facing employees and invest in growing areas, such as Totaltech’s membership program and its health business.
As of the end of January, Best Buy had more than 90,000 employees in the United States and Canada. That’s down from the roughly 125,000 workers they had in early 2020, according to company financial filings.
The US job market remains strong and the job market remains tight. The unemployment rate reached 3.5% as more people returned to work after the Covid pandemic, according to the Labor Department’s latest jobs report.
However, retailers including Best Buy struck a cautious tone as shoppers fell behind in some categories such as consumer electronics. Retailers have seen softer sales of discretionary goods as consumers pay more for necessities due to inflation and spend more on services again, such as booking flights or eating out at restaurants.
Best Buy also comes on the heels of a period when many of its customers snapped up new laptops, kitchen appliances, and home theater systems during the early years of the pandemic. A lot of what you sell are expensive items that people don’t trade in very often.
Digital sales are becoming a more important part of their business, too. About a third of Best Buy’s U.S. sales came from its online business in the fiscal year that ended in late January compared to 19% in the fiscal year that ended in late January 2020, company CEO Cory Barry also participated in the fourth quarter earnings call. She said sales made over the phone, chat or in person also grew.
Still, Best Buy’s 900 US stores remain an important part of the transformation: More than 40% of online sales are captured in stores, Barry said.