As New York City continues to undergo the fourth phase of reopening after the implementation of restrictions to slow down the spread of coronavirus in New York City on September 24, 2020, people wear protective masks outside Best Buy in Union Square.
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Best Buy said it will pay pandemic-related bonuses to all hourly workers and provide additional paid time for those using the Covid-1
The consumer electronics retailer announced the bonus on Tuesday, and the store has been around for two weeks after confirming that some of the layoffs will be part of the company’s reorganization. The layoffs were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. It did not say how much the bonus will cost the company.
As consumers turn to stores and websites for laptops, video game consoles, kitchen appliances, and other equipment to learn, work, and play during the pandemic, Best Buy’s sales have surged. In the third quarter, its online sales nearly tripled. The company declined to provide a outlook for the fourth quarter, but warned that it may face higher shipping costs, inventory challenges and lower profit margin sales during the holiday period.
The company plans to report its earnings before the close on Thursday.
As of January 2020, Best Buy has 125,000 full-time and part-time employees. Due to the decision to close the store and provide only roadside pickup services, it took a leave of approximately 51,000 workers in mid-April, including almost all part-time employees. Starting in June, it began to bring back some employees who were on vacation and allowed customers to visit most of its stores without making an appointment.
Between late March and early August, the company provided hourly store and supply chain employees with increased wages related to the pandemic. In August, it raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Best Buy did not disclose how many employees were unemployed due to the restructuring. The company said in a prepared statement that the global health crisis has permanently shifted online sales, which will also change the role of employees.
It said in a statement: “Our workforce needs to evolve to meet the changing needs of our customers, while providing our employees with more flexible opportunities.”
A company spokesperson said that unemployed workers will still receive bonuses.
The company said that full-time hourly salary will receive 500 US dollars, part-time hourly salary will receive 200 US dollars. It will not require employees to obtain Covid photos, but it will inspire those who do: full-time employees have eight hours of paid vacation, and part-time employees have four hours of paid vacation. Best Buy said that if they feel unwell after being vaccinated, they will be given the same amount of extra sick time based on their full-time or part-time status.
Other retailers such as Target, Dollar General and Kroger also offer perks, such as salary increases or free shipping.
The pandemic has increased sales in grocery stores, large stores and home improvement chains. Many of these companies have paid bonuses or increased wages in recent quarters. Target accelerated its plan to raise the starting salary to $15 an hour this summer and gave bonuses after the holidays. Walmart recently announced that it will add 425,000 workers in digital or inventory positions.
Retailers who had strong sales during the pandemic faced increasing scrutiny. As workers take additional risks, their profits skyrocket, and in some cases, illness or death from Covid-19 on the shelf or after checkout. As more and more states raise the minimum wage, and President Joe Biden (Joe Biden) advocates raising the minimum wage to $15, more and more people are also calling for higher wages.
High salaries and paid vacation benefits associated with the pandemic have also put pressure on company profits. For example, Walmart said that in the fourth quarter alone, it spent $1.1 billion on Covid-related expenses.