Finest Purchase is shedding a whole bunch of retailer staff as procuring tendencies change

Best Buy logos and shop on South Edmonton Common. Friday, May 20, 2022, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Arthur Widak | Nurphoto | Getty Images

best buy said Friday it was laying off hundreds of store workers across the country as more of its shoppers shop online and consumer electronics sales slack.

A company spokesman confirmed the layoffs, however, declined to share the specific 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 behaviors, as well as how we organize our teams to ensure we continue to deliver our expertise, our products.” and provide the best possible service.”

The retailer framed the job cuts as a shift in its priorities, saying Best Buy plans to hire thousands of frontline workers and invest in growing areas like its Totaltech membership program and healthcare business.

At the end of January, Best Buy had more than 90,000 employees in the US and Canada. That’s down from the nearly 125,000 employees it had in early 2020, according to the company’s financial records.

The US job market remains strong and the job market remains tight. The unemployment rate was 3.5% as more people went back to work after the Covid pandemic, according to the latest employment report from the Department of Labour.

Still, retailers, including Best Buy, have adopted a cautious tone as shoppers pull back in some categories like consumer electronics. Retailers saw weaker Durable Goods sales as consumers pay more for essentials due to inflation and start spending more on services, e.g. B. for booking flights or eating in restaurants.

Best Buy is also following a period when many of its customers bought new laptops, kitchen appliances, and home theater systems in the early years of the pandemic. A lot of what it sells are large items that people don’t replace often.

Digital distribution has also become a more significant part of the business. About a third of Best Buy’s U.S. sales came from its online business for the fiscal year ended January, compared to 19% for the fiscal year ended January 2020, the company’s CEO Corie Barry said at his announcement of fourth quarter results at . Sales by phone, chat or virtually have also increased, she said.

Still, Best Buy’s roughly 900 US stores remain a key part of the shift: Barry said more than 40% of online sales are picked up in-store.

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