Best Buy sets up its associates to test themselves for COVID-19
A retail outlet like Best Buy requires at least some staff to work in-store and those associates invariably face the threat of COVID-19 infection. Best Buy is now offering at-home COVID-19 tests for those workers who may have been exposed to the virus in the chain’s stores and warehouses.
The offer of home COVID-19 tests is an addition to a screening smartphone app for the disease that Best Buy put in place early in the pandemic, reports the Star Tribune. When an employee’s answers to the app’s questions indicate a high risk of exposure, they will now be furnished with a home COVID-19 test and will receive their usual pay while awaiting the results.
Best Buy’s performance throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic has been notably strong. Early on, the retailer was able to capitalize on an influx of customers suddenly needing technology and gadgets to facilitate working from home and teaching from home. It also established itself as a leader with its operations, drawing accolades for its curbside and appointment-only shopping experiences.
Best Buy’s employee relations have, however, been less clear cut throughout the pandemic.
Best Buy was early to offer hazard pay as the dangers of the novel coronavirus became known, and it raised its minimum pay rate to $15. The retailer has also promised to give out quarterly bonuses and paid time off for employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations.
In recent weeks, however, employees have claimed that Best Buy has been quietly laying off and cutting the hours of some staff, despite ongoing gains in brick-and-mortar and online sales throughout the third quarter of 2020.
The retailer’s fourth quarter results, reported in late February 2021, beat Wall Street expectations, according to CNBC. The chain is experiencing slowing sales growth, however, which it attributes to people spending less on stay-at-home needs. It expects relatively modest gains or losses in same-store sales throughout 2021.
Best Buy is not the only business to start facilitating home COVID-19 testing. DoorDash recently announced that it would begin delivering two different types of home COVID-19 tests in some markets, according to BBC News.
- Best Buy offers workers in-home tests for COVID-19 – Star Tribune
- Best Buy earnings beat expectations, but shares fall as sales growth slows – CNBC
- Covid: DoorDash delivers at-home test kits – BBC News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should every chain retailer have a similar testing policy as the one Best Buy has established to prevent the spread of COVID-19? How much goodwill do you think this move will generate among employees and the customers they serve?