NEW YORK — Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, is cutting jobs in an effort to adjust to new changes in consumer behavior as the virus wanes.
Best Buy declined to say how many jobs it was cutting, but The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, estimated it was hundreds of store-level jobs.
“We are constantly evaluating and developing our teams to ensure we serve our customers,” Best Buy said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “With an ever-changing macro environment, including customers shopping more digitally than ever, we’ve made adjustments to our teams, including eliminating a small number of roles.”
The job cuts come after Best Buy cut its annual sales and profit forecast late last month, citing soaring inflation that has dampened consumer spending on gadgets. The Minneapolis-based company echoed Walmart, which days earlier slashed its earnings outlook. The country’s largest retailer said higher prices for basic necessities are forcing shoppers to cut back on discretionary items.
Walmart also announced earlier this month that it was cutting jobs at its headquarters as part of a restructuring effort.
Still, the latest snapshot across the broader US labor market remains strong even as inflation continues to rage and affect all types of businesses. Last week, the government announced that unemployment had fallen another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold. The economy has now recovered the 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 hit the United States
Best Buy said last month it now expects this year’s sales at stores open for at least a year to be down 11%, much steeper than the 3% to 6% drop. originally scheduled for May.
For Best Buy’s second fiscal quarter, he expects comparable sales to be down 13%. Still, revenue for the quarter is expected to be about 7.5% higher than the second quarter of 2020, he said.
Best Buy is expected to release its quarterly results on August 30.
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