MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota-based Best Buy is furloughing more than 50,000 hourly store workers as Americans are cutting spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The electronics retailer made the announcement Wednesday as part of an update related to the company’s response to the novel coronavirus. The Richfield-based company says the furloughs will affect all part-time employees and nearly 20% of its domestic full-time hourly workforce.

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The furloughed employees will keep their health benefits for the next three months, the company said. The furloughs go into effect on Sunday.

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On the corporate side, workers have the option to take voluntary furloughs and reduced workweeks. Additionally, CEO Corie Barry is foregoing half of her base salary for the summer and high-level executives are seeing their base salary cut by 20%.

The company’s announcement comes amid reports Wednesday that U.S. retail sales plunged a record 8.7% in March as Americans are tightening their belts and many businesses are closed due to being considered nonessential in states where stay-at-home orders are in effect.

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