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No Evidence Of COVID -19 Problem At JB Hi Fi, As Best Buy Lays Off 50,000

Best Buy the biggest CE and appliance Company in the world whose sales have fallen over 5% in stores but are surging by up to 250% online has moved to let go more than 50,000 casual employees as unions in Australian try to pressure JB HI Fi to shut up shop and let their employees claim Government handouts.

Neither the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) or any State Government Health department have identified whether anyone has been infected with COVID-19 due to a visit to a JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman or The Good Guys store.

The RAFFWU says as infection case numbers grow their members are at risk. Workers that ChannelNews has spoken to at both JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys stores have said that they are more than happy working two of them said “It’s better than being locked up at home with nothing to do”.

The model that Best Buy has adopted is to offer corporate employees voluntary reduced workweeks while its top management and board would take a pay cut.

At this stage JB HI Fi has not said whether their management team will take a pay cut.

The company said sales grew about 25 percent during an 8-day period ended March 20, a day before the company announced its decision to switch to a curb side delivery model, as people shopped for work-from-home equipment and gaming-related products as well as products needed to freeze food.

Best Buy added that domestic online sales surged over 250 percent from a year earlier, with half the sales coming from customers who picked up their products from stores.

However, store closures and decreased footfall have dented demand, and sales dropped 30 percent from March 21 through April 11, Best Buy said.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Corie Barry said.

The company has already withdrawn all financial forecasts for fiscal 2021 and drawn down the full amount of its $1.25 billion revolving credit facility.

Best Buy had nearly 125,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees in the US, Canada and Mexico, at the end of fiscal 2020, according to an annual filing.

Shares of the company, which will report its results for the first quarter ending May 2, late next month, were down nearly 6 percent, to $65.75, in early trading on Wednesday.

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