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Best Buy reportedly cutting jobs, hours as pandemic hits stores

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Minnesota retailer is making cuts.

While Best Buy has seen its sales soar during COVID-19, the wider impact of the pandemic on bricks-and-mortar retail has reportedly seen it makes some cuts in its store network.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that workers at some stores are either being let go or having their hours reduced, some to the point they no longer qualify as full-time workers for the company's health insurance.

The Richfield-based retailer has seen a surge in sales as more people stayed at home in 2020, spending more on electronics and entertainment to make their isolation more palatable.

In its most recent results, for the 3rd Quarter of 2020, Best Buy reported a 23% increase in comparable sales compared to the same period in 2019.

However, much of this rise was driven by online sales, which rose 173.7% to $3.82 billion during the quarter, comprising 35.2% of its total sales, compared to 15.6% the year before.

And that was before the bulk of the Black Friday sales, the busiest shopping period of the year, which saw a significant reduction in the number of people shopping in person to avoid catching the virus, with more than ever choosing to shop the sales online.

Best Buy has not responded to Bring Me The News' request for a comment, but did tell the Star Tribune that customer shopping behaviors are being "permanently changed in a way that is even more digital," and said the company itself needs to change to meet those needs.

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