Store rate

Best Buy cuts store jobs to help boost profits

Retailer says it’s reworking business as spending moves online and electronics sales slow

Best Buy has remodeled stores and reworked the way it uses POS. Reuters

Best Buy Co. is cutting jobs in U.S. stores as the electronics and appliance retailer scrambles to cut costs in response to changing customer spending habits.

The retailer has cut hundreds of store jobs over the past week, including some workers who help people shop or plan home entertainment layouts, according to people familiar with the situation.

“With an ever-changing macro environment, including customers shopping more digitally than ever, we’ve made adjustments to our teams that include removing a small number of roles,” a spokeswoman said. company.

“Best Buy has openings in other roles and continues to invest in areas of the business such as home services, healthcare and retail,” she said.

Best Buy had about 105,000 workers in the United States and Canada in January, up from nearly 125,000 workers at the start of 2020, according to financial filings.

The latest job cuts at Best Buy come as the US labor market remains strong. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% last month, a half-century low also seen just before the pandemic in early 2020, according to the Labor Department.

But a handful of large employers are giving up hiring or cutting some jobs.

Walmart Inc., the nation’s largest private employer, cut hundreds of jobs earlier this month. Ford Motor Co. is preparing to lay off thousands of white-collar workers, while tech giants such as Microsoft Corp. and Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms Inc., have walked away from hiring for some positions.

Best Buy cut its second-quarter sales and profit estimates, noting that business has slowed since skyrocketing growth at the start of the pandemic, when many people rushed to buy electronics for work or entertainment at home. the House.

Consumers are shifting spending due to high levels of inflation, the company said last month.

Best Buy has also remodeled stores and reworked how it uses its outlets as shopping moves online. The company plans to redevelop about 45 stores this year, it said during a presentation to investors in May.

Last year, it announced it would close its operations in Mexico, where it had a few dozen stores, focusing on its business in the United States and Canada.

Best Buy also cut a number of store jobs early last year as part of efforts to cut costs.

Last year’s layoffs were destabilizing for workers who kept their jobs at the stores, according to interviews with current and former workers.

Some people in online forums are calling last year’s job cuts a “snap,” a reference to a moment in Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel franchise when Thanos’ character snaps his fingers to erase half of all life in the universe.

A Best Buy spokeswoman declined to comment on the joke.

Best Buy is expected to release its quarterly results on August 30. He expects comparable sales, those of stores and digital channels that have been operating for at least 12 months, to fall about 13% for the second quarter.