Shoppers at a Best Buy store in New York.
Bebeto Matthews | AP
Best Buy is getting into the fitness industry.
The big-box electronics retailer announced Tuesday its plans to open a “dedicated fitness space,” selling spin bikes and connected treadmills, in more than 100 stores by the end of the year.
On Tuesday, workout equipment will be available online, including spin bikes from Flywheel Sports, a compression recovery system from NormaTec, muscle rollers from Hyperice, rowing machines from Hydrow and a series of connected treadmills by NordicTrack. The products will begin to hit stores in the coming months.
“We know there’s a growing intersection between fitness and technology,” Jason Bonfig, Best Buy’s chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. “We’ve promised our customers we’ll help enrich their lives, including their health and wellness, by using technology. This is a great example of how we’re living up to that commitment.”
The announcement comes as Best Buy has already started to venture into health tech. It acquired GreatCall, a health-services platform that focuses on personal emergency response services for senior citizens for $ 800 million in August 2018. Earlier this year, it began to sell TytoCare’s telehealth devices online and in some stores. Then, earlier this month, it acquired senior remote monitoring company Critical Signal Technologies for an undisclosed amount.
“This clearly fits into their overall focus in thinking,” NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker said. “It’s taking advantage of a market that’s growing. … Clearly they are building a constituency as a destination for health technology as that expands.”
Meantime, the market for in-home workout equipment in the U.S. continues to grow, with the likes of Peloton and Mirror generating buzz with their products. More and more consumers are opting to invest in a rowing machine or one of Mirror’s interactive, full-length mirrors that teaches gym classes instead joining a gym. Peloton, which makes bikes and treadmills, recently filed with securities regulators for an IPO.
“Health is a bit of a longer term value driver for us, but we absolutely like what we are starting to see in health,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry told analysts on a post-earnings conference call last month. “This is … around helping older Americans live a more independent life in their homes with the help of technology, which aligns very well to what we are trying to accomplish overall.”
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Best Buy said its in-home experts will get training on the new workout gear and how to install it in homes.
Best Buy shares, with a market value of about $ 17.9 billion, are up more than 25% this year.