(Reuters) – Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) said on Wednesday it would furlough about 51,000 hourly U.S. store employees and that its sales dropped about 5% in the first two months of the current quarter, as the electronics retailer kept its stores shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said that starting next week, some corporate employees would also participate in voluntary reduced work weeks and furloughs, while its top management and board would take a pay cut.

Best Buy, however, would retain about 82% of its full-time store and field employees.

The company said sales grew about 25% during an 8-day period ended March 20, a day before the company announced its decision to switch to a curbside delivery model, as people shopped for work-from-home equipment, gaming-related products as well as products needed to freeze food.

Best Buy added that domestic online sales surged over 250% from a year earlier, with half the sales coming from customers who picked-up their products from stores.

However, store closures and decreased footfall have dented demand, and sales dropped 30% from March 21 through April 11, Best Buy said.

“The situation remains very fluid and there is still a great deal of uncertainty, particularly as it relates to depth and duration of store closures and consumer confidence over time,” Chief Executive Officer Corie Barry said.

The company has already withdrawn all financial forecasts for fiscal 2021 and drawn down the full amount of its $1.25 billion revolving credit facility.

Best Buy had nearly 125,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, at the end of fiscal 2020, according to an annual filing.

Shares of the company, which will report its results for the first quarter ending May 2, late next month, were down about 6% in early trading on Wednesday.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

S&P 500, Dow ease from record highs after three-day rally

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials indexes eased from their record highs on Thursday, as investors took a breather after a stellar run this week on waning worries about the economic damage from the coronavirus epidemic. Both…

S&P falls 7%; circuit-breaker triggered

Trading on US stock exchanges was halted immediately after opening on Monday, as the S&P 500 fell 7%, triggering an automatic 15 minute cutout put in place after the 2008-9 financial crisis.  – Reuters Original source: China Daily

US signs contract with Pfizer for COVID-19 vaccine doses

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday that the U.S. has signed a contract with Pfizer for delivery in December of the first 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical company is working to…

Elon Musk is now the fourth-richest person in the world. He’s about to get even richer

New York (CNN Business)Elon Musk is worth $96 billion, making him the fourth-richest man in the world, according to Bloomberg. He’s about to get a lot richer. The Tesla CEO takes no regular salary, but in 2018 shareholders approved a…