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Best Buy announces 5K people laid off as online sales soar

Best Buy announces 5K people laid off as online sales soar
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Best Buy announced Thursday that it laid off 5,000 employees this month, citing the growth of online sales, CNN reports.

The tech retailer's sales soared during the COVID-19 pandemic as people purchased TVs, computers and other at-home technology, according to The Associated Press. From November to the end of January, Best Buy's online sales increased 89 percent compared with the same months a year ago, the AP notes.

This surge in online shopping resulted in the company prioritizing their virtual sales platform, as many stores have shifted to focus on shipping and fulfilling online orders.

The tech retailer also said it will close more stores this year. Currently, Best Buy operates 1,231 stores worldwide — 500 fewer than it had seven years ago, according to Statista.

The 5,000 laid off employees will be replaced by 2,000 part-time employees, the AP reports. Best Buy currently employs more than 100,000 workers, but has decreased its workforce 17 percent from last year.