After closing all of its stores to walk-in shoppers for months, Best Buy will begin to fully reopen most of its stores starting Monday for customers to freely shop without appointments.
After COVID-19 took hold in the U.S., Best Buy leadership decided to temporarily shutter all of it stores in March aside from curbside pickup. Last month, the Richfield-based electronics chain began to allow in-store consultation by appointment at some stores.
The new change will open more than 800 locations out of its nearly 1,000 stores across the country to limited numbers of customers at a time. All Twin Cities stores will reopen.
"Throughout the pandemic, nothing has been more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees," said Ray Sliva, Best Buy's president of retail, in a statement Tuesday. "We're now confident we can provide a safe experience for shoppers who want to visit our stores to browse, see tech products firsthand and get helpful advice from our Blue Shirts or Geek Squad Agents."
Best Buy stores will limit the number of customers inside the stores to 25% of capacity, which allows about 60 or more customers in a store at a time, depending on its size.
Employees will be required to undergo self-health assessments, including temperature checks, before each shift and wear protective gear including face masks. The retailer is asking that customers wear face coverings as well and will provide them to those who don't have them.
Acrylic shields will be installed at checkout counters, and there will be floor signage throughout the stores to help people maintain 6 feet of distance. Surfaces within the stores will be cleaned frequently, according to Best Buy. There will be dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and other vulnerable shoppers.
To support the store reopenings, Best Buy also is bringing back more than 9,000 of the store's furloughed full- and part-time store employees and Geek Squad Agents.
In Minnesota, stores deemed essential such as Target could stay open. Other stores were allowed to open their doors in Minnesota on May 28, with restrictions including only 50% capacity, but many stores did not all open on the first day.
Other retailers throughout Minnesota began to open in a limited manner earlier this month. Bars and restaurants were allowed to open for outdoor service June 1. Hair salons and campgrounds were allowed to open with capacity limitations. More restrictions are expected to be lifted Wednesday to allow more businesses, such as fitness centers, to reopen.