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Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous discuss Best Buy's path to reopening its stores.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: It looks like Best Buy is pushing through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. The electronics retailer is going to reopen about 800 stores-- not all its stores but a majority of them, 800 in the US, on June 15.
Brian Sozzi has been watching this, and, Brian, I'm curious. You know, Best Buy was hit by a lot of the looters during the protests the past week or so. Any word on whether or not those stores are going to be part of the ones reopening?
BRIAN SOZZI: Unclear on that, Alexis. But Best Buy operates close to a thousand stores, 977 in the US to be exact. So 177 are still not opening, so you would have to suspect part of that is because of the looting.
But for this company, it is not going back to business as usual. As we've seen from retailers throughout the past couple weeks, they will continue with their curbside delivery. Within the stores, only 25% of max capacity, about 60 customers in there at a time. So for investors thinking Best Buy's stock is going to go up in a straight line, sales are going to boom, go through the roof, you want to temper those expectations a little bit here. The company is investing more in sanitation, the store-size limitation-- the store-crowd limitation. So you won't see sales snap back immediately.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And I know they furloughed an incredible amount of workers, something like 51,000 workers. What about bringing those workers back on?
BRIAN SOZZI: As part of this latest round of store openings, Alexis, 9,000 workers will be brought back. So the rough math on there, 41,000 workers for Best Buy still being furloughed. Clearly they will bring those workers back to some extent when the rest of the nearly 200 stores reopen. And once business gets back to usual, even when these stores do reopen, like I just mentioned, there are capacity constraints. The fact the stores won't be filled, you just need less human beings in the stores as a result.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah, a lot of waiting in line. I've been doing some of it outside retailers as they only let in a certain amount of us at one time.