Best Buy will gradually reopen its stores for in-store consultations by appointment in May. The service, which will initially roll out at 200 stores, will let shoppers discuss potential purchases of kitchen appliances or other items.
Each customer will be matched with a dedicated sales associate, which will allow Best Buy to limit the number of people inside the store and ensure that proper distancing procedures are followed. The retailer also will implement a number of additional safety measures:
- Employees must wear masks and gloves provided by Best Buy;
- Employees must also perform a self-check at the start of every shift using a proprietary app; and
- The visited areas and surfaces of the store will be sanitized before and after each appointment.
Shoppers can make their appointments by phone, online or through the Best Buy app. Upon arrival, an associate will guide the customer through the social distancing and safety guidelines, while signs and floor stickers will provide additional information throughout their visit. Customers can pay using credit cards on screens that will be wiped before and after each use, and will be escorted out of the store once their transaction is completed.
The consultations will complement the Best Buy contactless curbside pickup service that launched in late March. The addition of in-store consultations could help the retailer return some staff from furlough and increase sales of items that are harder to sell online.
“Early on, we closed the inside of our stores to shoppers and moved to a curbside pickup model for customer and employee safety,” said a company spokesperson in a blog post. “This works well when purchasing many items. But some purchases, like large appliances or networking equipment, are often made easier with an in-person store visit and a conversation with an expert to answer detailed questions.”