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