Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

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 subsides.

Best Buy declined to say how many jobs it was cutting, but The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, estimated it involved hundreds of store-level jobs.

“We are always evaluating and evolving our teams to ensure we are serving our customers,” Best Buy said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “With an ever-changing macroeconomic environment, including customers shopping more digitally than ever, we have made adjustments to our teams that include removing a small number of features.”

The job cuts come after Best Buy lowered its annual sales and earnings forecast late last month, citing rising inflation that has curbed consumer spending on devices. The Minneapolis-based company echoed Walmart, which cut its earnings outlook a few days earlier. The nation’s largest retailer said higher prices on basic necessities are forcing shoppers to cut back on discretionary items.

Walmart also announced earlier this month that it was cutting jobs at its corporate headquarters as part of a restructuring effort.

Still, the latest outlook for the overall US labor market remains strong even as inflation continues to rise and hit all types of businesses. Last week, the government reported that unemployment fell another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic struck. The economy has now recovered the 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 hit the US.

Best Buy said last month that it now expects this year’s sales at stores open at least a year to drop 11 percent, far more than the 3 percent to 6 percent drop it originally forecast in May.

For Best Buy’s fiscal second quarter, comparable sales are expected to be down 13 percent. Still, revenue for the quarter should be about 7.5 percent higher than the second quarter of 2020, he said.

Best Buy is scheduled to report its quarterly results on August 30.

Read More: Best Buy Trims Jobs After It Cuts Sales and Profit Forecast Citing Surging Inflation