The coronavirus pandemic has hit retailers in more ways than one. They’ve been forced to close their storefronts, lay off workers, and many of their top-selling products have either slowed production or are totally sold out. All of these things have been true for Best Buy.
Beginning on April 19th, some 51,000 Best Buy employees will be temporarily laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision will affect nearly all part-time employees and about 18% of hourly full-time employees including In-Home Advisors and Geek Squad Agents. However, furloughed employees will be able to retain their health benefits at no cost for a minimum of three months.
Many higher-ups at Best Buy will also feel some ramifications, though not nearly as devastating. Still somewhat new CEO Corrie Barry will forego 50% of her base salary and the entire Board of Directors will forego 50% of their cash retainer fees at least through September 1, 2020. Company executives that report directly to Barry will take a 20% reduction in base salary through September 1st as well.
The Coronavirus pandemic has also impacted some items that are top sellers for Best Buy, including the Nintendo Switch. Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, Target, Best Buy and every other retailer across the country has been sold out of the console for weeks now. Nintendo has been struggling to keep up with demand as Americans look for new ways to kill time at home though they’ve apparently started ramping up production. Still you’ll probably have to wait until May or June to get your hands on a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite, unless of course you’re willing to pay double or triple the price on eBay.
It’s also more than likely that PlayStation 5 will be hard to keep in stock when it’s released at the end of the year. Sony recently assured everyone that the Holiday 2020 launch date is still very much on track though a Bloomberg report said we could see 'far fewer’ units in the first year compared to previous releases. A few anonymous sources said that Sony will limit PS5's initial run, despite its production being largely unaffected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The report goes on to say that Sony told assembly partners it plans to make 5 to 6 million PS5s by the end of March 2021, which might sound like a lot but it’s actually very low. To compare, Sony sold 7.5 million PS4s in the first six months after it launched in 2013.
So whether you want a Nintendo Switch or you’re planning to buy a Playstation 5 this holiday season, you might have to play the waiting game. But we should all be pretty much used to that by now.