The COVID-19 outbreak is putting tremendous strain on normal business operations, especially for certain industries like hotels, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar retail.

Starting March 22, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) said it would shift to curbside pickup only for all its stores on an interim basis. In a statement, CEO Corie Barry said, "The situation we're facing as a company and as individuals is unprecedented and changing at a pace all of us are working to keep up with."

The silver lining is that Best Buy is also seeing a surge in online orders from people who need to work at home.

A computer keyboard with an image of a delivery truck placed over the enter key.

Image source: Getty Images.

Online sales are booming

Best Buy is experiencing rising demand for products needed for work or education from home, as well as products needed to refrigerate or freeze food, Barry explained. Online sales made up a quarter of total revenue during the holiday quarter and are growing fast.

Domestic comparable online sales growth accelerated to 17% in fiscal 2020. Overall comparable sales growth finished the year up 2.1%. The holiday quarter was Best Buy's 12th straight quarter of positive comp sales growth. 

However, the global pandemic may cause that streak to come to an end this quarter. Best Buy has followed many other companies by withdrawing guidance for the next quarter and the full year. 

While Best Buy is drawing down the full amount of its $1.25 billion revolving credit facility to get by in the short term, the company still has a relatively strong balance sheet. On Feb. 1, Best Buy had $2.2 billion of cash and $1.25 billion in long-term debt. 

The new debt will give the retailer more than $3 billion of cash to fund its operations in the near term.