Best Buy ditches TVs: bets on the fitness and health market to attract customers

The chain is looking for new strategies in the face of a new scenario of post-pandemic buyers.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For Best Buy, the empire it built selling screens and appliances at unbeatable prices, has ceased to be sufficient before competitors such as Amazon or Walmart.

To attract new customers, the chain has decided expand its presence in health, fitness and electric transportation products.

During a presentation to investors this week, CEO Corie Barry outlined her plans in other potentially important areas. outside of its core business of consumer electronics.

“We are expanding our addressable market by entering new categories in areas like health and electric bikes that are being disrupted by technology,” said Barry.

40% of Americans use digital technology or the Internet in new or different ways compared to before the pandemic,” he added.

He noted that the company is adding merchandise to stores in dedicated sections, such as Hydrow and NordicTrack home gym equipment, Super 73 and Segway electric bikes and scooters, and Weber outdoor grills.

Best Buy is betting it can seamlessly enter these areas as more consumers use technology for activities like exercising and moving around during the pandemic.

A new landscape after the pandemic

According to their reports, Best Buy's sales had a sustained increase during the pandemic, when customers ordered products such as gyms, living rooms or office electronics online.

Now that the pandemic has slowed down and many people have returned to their routinesales have decreased.

In the last quarter, sales fell 2.6%, including a worrying 11.2% drop online. Sales of mobile phones, games and tablets also fell.

Analysts consulted by CNN expect that during 2022 sales will continue to decline by up to 4% due to the fact that many consumers already bought during this time the products that were needed and because many others have made the decision to reduce their expenses in the face of inflation.

The company also said it plans to close 20 to 30 stores a year for the next three years, as about 40% of Best Buy's current business comes from online sales, nearly double what it was before the pandemic.

Its stores are increasingly used to ship online orders to customers' homes. Best Buy has about 1,000 stores in North America.

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