Richfield, MN (KROC AM News) - One of Minnesota’s best-known companies is making moves to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including furloughs that will affect thousands of its workers.

Best Buy Wednesday announced beginning April 19, the company will temporarily furlough approximately 51,000 hourly store employees, including nearly all part-time employees.

Best Buy intends to retain approximately 82% of its full-time store and field employees. Furloughed employees will retain their health benefits at no cost to them for a minimum of three months. Best Buy also says some of its corporate employees will participate in voluntary reduced work weeks and resulting pay, as well as voluntary furloughs. CEO Corie Barry will forego 50% of her base salary and executives reporting directly to her will take a 20% reduction in base salary through at least September 1.

Best Buy made a number of moves last month in response to the virus crisis, including closing stores to customers and implementing curbside service. The company also suspended all in-home delivery, installation and repairs.

Barry said Wednesday, “The situation remains very fluid and there is still a great deal of uncertainty, particularly as it relates to depth and duration of store closures and consumer confidence over time. We are taking the steps necessary to resume providing our customers in-home services in the near future, keeping in mind our overriding priority on the safety of our employees and customers. We are also preparing to re-open stores to customers as soon as it is safe to do so, with timing likely to vary at state and local levels. In the meantime, as you would expect, we are focused on making the difficult decisions necessary to ensure that at the end of this crisis Best Buy remains a strong, vibrant company.”

She also said Best Buy has partnered with its founder, Dick Schulze, to establish a $10 million employee assistance fund, available to all part- and full-time hourly employees who have been with the company longer than one year.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app