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Best Buy’s 51,000 employees are facing a tough future as the company furloughs most of its part-time employees due to the harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary leave will begin on Sunday, Apr. 19. Furloughed employees will retain their health benefits at no cost for a minimum of three months, according to a Best Buy statement.

The company decided to retain 82% of its full-time employees, including its In-Home Advisors and Geek Squad Agents.

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry will cut 50% of her base salary, and company executives reporting directly to Barry will take a 20% reduction in base pay through at least September 1, 2020.

“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,” Barry said.

The company’s new operating model also includes lowering merchandise receipts to match demand, especially for essential items. Best Buy is also suspending its 401(k)-matching program.

Last month, Best Buy added curbside service at all stores nationwide ahead of temporarily closing its approximately 1,200 locations.

The company’s year-over-year sales declined approximately 30% from March 21, 2020, when the company announced its decision to shift to the interim operating model and close all of its Domestic stores to customer traffic, through April 11, 2020. Meanwhile, Domestic online sales are up over 250%

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Other company’s, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, have also furloughed the majority of their employees amid the pandemic. 

Follow Coral Murphy on Twitter @CoralMerfi.

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