Best Buy cuts jobs across the country, after warning of slower sales

Black Friday shoppers leave a Best Buy store in Washington, DC, on November 26, 20221.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

Best Buy said on Friday that it is cutting jobs across the country about two weeks after it warned it was seeing weaker sales than expected.

A Best Buy spokeswoman, Carly Charlson, did not say how many people were affected by the layoffs.

“We’re always evaluating and evolving our teams to make sure we’re serving our customers,” Charlson said. “With an ever-changing macroeconomic environment, including customers shopping more digitally than ever, we have made adjustments to our teams that include eliminating a small number of roles.”

The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. It said the retailer has eliminated hundreds of store jobs over the past week, citing people familiar with the matter.

Best Buy had about 105,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada, as of the end of January, according to financial filings. The company’s workforce is shrinking even as the U.S. jobs market remains strong. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and hiring exceeded expectations with nonfarm payrolls rising by 528,000 for the month.

Yet some retailers, which saw significant sales growth during the pandemic, are feeling the whiplash of sharp changes in consumer behavior.

Best Buy already anticipated slower sales after seeing a boom in demand for home theaters, office equipment, kitchen appliances and benefitting from stimulus dollars. Yet in late July, it cut its sales forecast for the second quarter and full year, saying consumers are skipping over big-ticket items as they get hit by inflation.

Walmart and Shopify have also laid off workers as sales demand slows. Walmart cut about 200 corporate employees, according to people familiar with the matter. Shopify laid off roughly 1,000 workers.

Best Buy will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on Aug. 30.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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