Not only is the coronavirus pandemic not even close to being over, but the retail apocalypse across America continues on.

Company officials with Best Buy, one of the nation's largest electronics stores, stated earlier this week that more retail locations than they originally anticipated could be closing this year. And that is mainly due to a huge shift from customers to online shopping because of the pandemic.

During the company's quarterly earnings statement earlier this week, CEO Corie Barrie told USA Today “As part of the review process, we have closed approximately 20 large-format locations each of the past two years and expect to close a higher number this year. We have also been reducing the length of our average lease term, which will continue to provide us flexibility.” The company has 450 stores that have leases coming up for renewal in 2021.

Even though Best Buy had a huge year for online sales, they revealed that they had to lay off 5,000 full-time employees earlier this month. A company spokesperson said that was a direct result of the shift to online shopping, and they are hoping to replace those workers that were laid off with 2,000 part-time employees in the near future. The company currently has more than 100,000 workers, which is minus the 21,000 laid off from the previous year.

If there is a silver lining to any of this for the company, CEO Barrie says that they are giving an "additional cash gratitude bonus" of $500 to full-time employees, and $200 for seasonal or part-time workers. They also raised the minimum starting pay to $15 an hour last August. It is certainly nice to see that some employers are really taking time to appreciate their employees, even though times are hard.

 

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