About 500 employees at Best Buy's Richfield headquarters have indicated they want to accept buyout packages. That's about 12½ percent of the 4,000 employees at the corporate headquarters.
They have until Jan. 16 to change their minds.
Best Buy's sales and profits have been slipping as the nation's economic woes mount. Spokeswoman Susan Busch says employees cited many reasons for accepting buyouts.
"The reasons they have given us represent the deep personal reflection that went into making these decisions. People are leaving because they have a lifelong dream of starting a small business, or they want to spend time with their small children, or they're going back to school to start whole new career," said Busch.
Best Buy says the average employee who's not in management would receive 7.5 months of severance pay, plus continued health benefits and life insurance for a year.
Best Buy didn't set a target for buyouts. Busch says executives will meet later in January and may determine then whether the reduction is great enough.
Busch says the average non-executive employee is getting about 7½ months of pay, plus a year of health and life insurance and job-hunting help.
The nation's largest consumer electronics chain last month reported third-quarter earnings down 77 percent, and called it the most challenging period in its history.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)