Best Buy makes health and wellness tech a strategic priority
Members of Best Buy’s Geek Squad can fix your computer, but will they someday troubleshoot your pacemaker? While such a future might sound unlikely, the consumer electronics chain did recently announce that it’s making health and fitness-related technology a priority in a number of ways.
On its earnings call last month, the company said that it sees opportunities for profit in the health space and that its strategy is to address “key human needs in areas such as entertainment, productivity, communication, food preparation, security, and health and wellness,” according to CNBC. CEO Hubert Joly cited Best Buy’s sale of specially-designed phones and medical alert systems for the elderly, as well as the company’s Assured Living program, as products and services geared towards helping the elderly remain healthy.
The Assured Living program, which launched last summer, offers a home consultation to determine the right IoT solutions to meet the specific needs of an elderly resident, which Geek Squad members then implement.
While it may sound strange to hear that a retailer still known primarily for computers and other electronic gadgets is considering focusing on health, recent years have seen numerous companies making moves that indicate a tightening between the worlds of health and retail.
For instance, last year’s rumors of Amazon’s plans to enter into the prescription drug business appeared to push both Walgreens and CVS into upping their omnichannel offerings to head the e-tail juggernaut off at the pass. Shortly thereafter, Walmart entered into preliminary discussions with insurance company Humana, raising speculation about the role of retailers in the future of healthcare.
Other retailers have also experimented with making health technology a focus on their shelves. A few years ago in the midst of the wearables boom, Target began setting aside store-space for a “connected health” section in some stores.
Best Buy seems to have done well for itself by staying on top of trends. The once struggling chain has successfully pursued a turnaround bolstered by its store-within-a-store strategy in partnership with popular brands like Samsung.
In fact, earlier this year CEO Hubert Joly told Reuters that the chain’s turnaround is complete and it is now ready to compete with Amazon.
- Next time you buy a TV at Best Buy, you may be also offered health care – CNBC
- Is Best Buy’s latest Geek Squad service a blueprint for niche IoT? – RetailWire
- As Amazon looms, CVS rolls out next-day RX deliveries nationwide – RetailWire
- Walmart May Have Designs on Humana, Here’s What Could Happen With a Deal – CNBC
- Target sells connected health – RetailWire
- Best Buy CEO says turnaround done, room to compete with Amazon – Reuters
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Best Buy having success with its Assured Living IoT program? How do you expect Best Buy will develop its health and wellness technology focus in the years to come? What will this mean for rival retailers?