Best Buy Will Convert Some Stores to Online Shopping Hubs

Best Buy is eyeing some changes in light of the pandemic – with an increasing number of customers turning to online shopping, the big-box retailer will now test a ship-from-store hub model beginning next month. About 250 of its locations will be converted into hubs, which adds up to a quarter of the retailer’s approximately 1,000 stores, according to CNBC.

“It’s not about less stores,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said. “It’s probably about using stores differently and meeting the customer where they want to be met.”

Barry said turning the locations into online fulfillment centers will make it possible to speed up orders and help make holiday shipping and sending other future orders more efficient. Around 60 percent of Best Buy’s online orders are now either shipped from stores or picked up at their locations or by curbside.

Best Buy, similar to Target and Walmart, has heavily benefited from online sales in recent months. The company’s online sales grew by 242 percent nationwide, making it the retailer’s best quarterly gain ever recorded. Best Buy’s top selling products right now are appliances, tablets and items related to computers, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune

As a result of the pandemic, the company’s stores have only been open to appointment shopping for almost half the quarter. Best Buy chose the designated store locations as hubs based on the amount of space they offer, their proximity to shipping carriers and their ability to support next-day and same-day deliveries. The retailer also plans to keep adding third-party locations for customers to be able to pick up their online orders.