Best Buy has laid off some 5,000 employees and plans to close additional stores as customers turn to online shopping.
American customers have increasingly been turning to Amazon and online stores for their electronics needs, putting pressure on traditional, brick and mortar stores. With the pandemic further changing consumers’ shopping habits, traditional stores have been under even more pressure. Fry’s Electronics announced it was closing Wednesday, illustrating the growing challenges traditional businesses are facing.
Best Buy, in contrast, has fared relatively well during the pandemic. Much of this is due to the company’s online sales. According to CNN Business, the company expects 40% of its sales to come from online purchases in 2021, as opposed to 19% two years ago. The company has also been relatively successful with its physical stores, although it expects in-store business to slow this year.
As a result, Best Buy has laid off 5,000 staff, mostly full-time employees. The company is also raising the bar for evaluating whether to renew store leases. The company already closed 20 stores a year for the past couple of years, and expects that number to go up this year.