Best Buy to pitch products to health-and-fitness crowdThe new health-and-fitness concept was tested in 40 stores earlier this year, and now, the Richfield, Minn.-based company is ready to move ahead nationwide.
By: Tom Web, St. Paul Pioneer Press / MCT
Best Buy is trying again to leap into the health-and-fitness market.
The electronics retailer said Friday that its 600 big-box stores nationwide are now carrying a lineup of pedometers, scales, heart-rate monitoring watches and other workout equipment, most with a consumer-electrics component.
The new health-and-fitness concept was tested in 40 stores earlier this year, and now, the Richfield, Minn.-based company is ready to move ahead nationwide.
"We were encouraged by the enthusiastic response we saw from our customers during the initial pilot of these health and fitness products," Chris Koller, a Best Buy vice president, said in a statement. He said the company hopes to "provide the latest and greatest technology to enhance health regimens, and to help people discover how they can integrate these devices with other personal technology."
Back in 2005, Best Buy introduced a new store concept called eq-life, which married health, wellness and technology. The stores were aimed mostly at female customers 35 and older, and had an eclectic range of offerings, from hairstyling to fitness equipment to a Geek Squad desk to blood-pressure monitors.
It opened four stand-alone eq-life stores, including one along St. Paul's Grand Avenue. But the concept didn't click, and Best Buy sold off the stores in 2006. They later closed.
Best Buy's newest experiment is far less ambitious. The exercise and health equipment spans one 30-foot section inside its existing Best
Buy stores. But the company believes the growing connections between workout equipment and personal technology makes the area ripe for Best Buy.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.