March 18, 2020
With gyms, restaurants and bars shut down in cities across the United States — and the world — a growing number of retailers are also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by shutting their doors temporarily.
Department store chains Macy’s, Nordstrom, and JCPenney have shut their stores for at least two weeks.
Also in the dark are Apple, Urban Outfitters, Under Armour, Lululemon, Sephora, and Ulta Beauty, among others. Effective March 19, so is Dick’s Sporting Goods, an 850-store chain that this week has seen a run on free weights and dumbbells now that most gyms are closed.
Best Buy, which remains one of the top sellers of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, is bucking the trend.
In an email sent late March 18, CEO Corie Barry writes, “Right now, our role as a consumer electronics retailer is rapidly shifting and we are striving to make the best decisions with two goals in mind: The first is to protect our customers, employees and their families. The second is to do the best we can to serve the millions of Americans who are looking to us for increasingly vital technology tools to stay connected, as well as household necessities.
“You are turning to us for help getting the technology that allows you to continue running a small business or shift your usual job from an office setting to your home. You are turning to us to help your children continue their education outside of their classroom. And, you are turning to us for necessities that allow you to store and prepare food for your family.”
As a result, Barry writes, Best Buy stores will remain open, although the chain is “shortening our store hours this week, and on March 23, [we] will begin permitting only a small number of customers into the store at a time so we can enforce the necessary social distancing guidelines. We are also working to enhance our curbside service and strongly recommend you take advantage of this whenever possible.”