Best Buy Boosts Pay as Tech Purchases Drive Retail Sales

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
Lisa Johnston CGT

Sales are picking up for Best Buy, and it’s raising wages to continue its investment in associates.

Best Buy said its quarter-to-date sales have grown 2.5% since the prior year — thanks to U.S. growth of 2% and intentional growth of 8% — driven by computing, appliances and tablets.

The retailer, which began allowing customers back into its stores at the beginning of the quarter, now has almost all stores open. From June 15 through July 18, sales have grown 15% year over year. Through July 18, online sales grew about 255% for the quarter to date vs. the prior-year period.  

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said strong consumer demand and shopping experiences emphasizing safety and convenience helped produce the sales results.

“None of this would be possible without the effort and energy of our front-line employees working in stores, supply chain facilities and customers’ homes,” she said. “Today’s announcement on pay reflects an ongoing evolution and investment in how we compensate them for their critical work and is the result of clear and consistent feedback from field employees across the country.”

“In the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, we made a number of temporary decisions, including providing appreciation pay to hourly field employees, and we’re now pleased to evolve to a more structural approach that significantly invests in paying and supporting them in ways that they have asked for and so clearly earned,” Barry added.

Best Buy had been issuing its hourly associates “incremental appreciate pay” since March 22, and it will end the initiative Aug. 1. Instead, a 4% increase in hourly rate will be implemented starting Aug. 2, and the starting hourly wage for all U.S. associates will be $15, aligning it with Target.

Walmart meanwhile will pay out another $428 million in cash bonuses to store, club, distribution center and fulfillment center associates to recognize them for their work during the pandemic. Full-time hourly associates will receive $300, and part-time and temporary associates will receive $150. Drivers, managers and assistant managers in stores, clubs, DCs, FCs and its health & wellness division will also receive bonuses.

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