• Best Buy has announced some new policies meant to cut down on crowds at its stores as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
  • The electronics chain is cutting the hours it’s open, and it’s also going to limit the number of customers inside at any given time to between 10 and 15.
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Last night, as I was driving to a grocery store nearby to stock up on some essentials that I’m definitely not hoarding, I couldn’t help but notice the parking lot at the Best Buy that’s in the same shopping complex as the store. It was — well, it wasn’t full, but you certainly could be forgiven for assuming it was a normal day and that there wasn’t, you know, a global pandemic going on at the moment. The lot looked about as full as it does on a normal day, which certainly surprised me, though I guess it shouldn’t have. People will stop at nothing to take advantage of deals, though that’s going to come to an end and pretty quick.

Because all of you clowns are crowding its stores instead of practicing the social distancing guidelines recommended by health experts — to keep us all from getting sick — Best Buy is preparing to implement a new policy at its stores, starting on Monday. For the time being, the store will only allow 10 to 15 customers inside at a time.

“Starting Monday, March 23, and at least for the next two weeks, we will serve our customers through limited access to our stores and curbside pickup,” the electronics chain has announced. “This will be done with the intent of substantially reducing the number of people in stores (only 10-15 customers at a time) and hours will remain 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.”

Reducing the number of hours it’s open, cutting the number of workers inside, and putting a lid on how many customers are allowed inside at any one time, are all meant to keep people at a healthy distance from each other. Indeed, the customers allowed inside at any given time will all be escorted by an employee while maintaining a recommended social distance separation of 6 feet from each other and limiting clusters of people to no more than 10.

During this time, customers can still order from BestBuy.com and have products shipped to their home. Best Buy says that deliveries and installations will continue where permitted “and under strict safety guidelines.” Customers can also drop off products for Geek Squad repair and pick up products curbside that they ordered ahead of time on BestBuy.com or via the Best Buy app.

Starting March 18, meanwhile, all in-home consultations will be done virtually.

“These changes also require fewer employees working at any one time, and we intend to give employees not working two weeks’ pay,” the chain says. “We have also relaxed our absence policy and will not penalize employees for missing work.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.