October 2, 2022

ENACALCULATOARE

Develop Technology For The Connected World

Best Buy branches into skincare products, as technology moves into new markets

4 min read

Some of the latest technology at Best Buy stores aren’t meant to entertain nor to communicate on the go. But they could help make your skin clearer.

As it continues to grow beyond large electronics and appliances, Best Buy now offers about 100 skincare products, including facial steamers and dermaplaning wands.

“We saw a natural extension for skincare as technology started to enter the skincare space,” said Jason Bonfig, chief merchandising officer for Best Buy. “We were able to partner with many of our existing vendor partners.”

The Richfield-based retailer has long sold personal care items like razors, hair dryers and electric toothbrushes. But with technology advancing in beauty products, Best Buy has added devices that can provide microdermabrasion to improve skin texture, pulsating facial cleansing for deep cleaning, and LED light therapy to reduce wrinkles and heal acne.

The tech-focused skincare products include items from brands such as Foreo, Vanity Planet and PMD Beauty. Best Buy employees have been trained how to explain the newer skincare products, Bonfig said. The skincare items are available online and in about one-third of the approximately 900 Best Buy stores nationwide.

Best Buy also plans to showcase skincare products in its virtual store, an online platform from which customers can watch product demonstrations and ask questions of experts.

Unlike some of Best Buy’s pricier products that customers tend to consider for awhile, the skincare products provide the company an opportunity to generate impulse purchases. Some of the more complex items can still be in the $500 range and require more customer consideration, though probably not as long as customers take on big-screen TVs, Bonfig said.

The company has continued to add more health-related products such as wearable fitness trackers over the years. In 2019, Best Buy began to sell fitness equipment and later started selling recovery products like percussion massagers and muscle recovery systems. Best Buy’s fitness and wellness assortment has grown seven times larger in little more than a year.

The company during that time tested a wellness experience area in a store in the Houston area. It now plans to add dedicated wellness zones in 90 stores.

Outside of its stores, Best Buy has also invested in health and wellness services. In 2018, it spent $800 million to purchase the GreatCall connected health technology company which allows for remote health monitoring for seniors. Last year, Best Buy announced its $400 million acquisition of U.K.-based patient-monitoring platform Current Health.

“We’re creating an ecosystem to support consumers in their care-at-home journey,” said Deborah DiSanzo, president of Best Buy Health, told investors in March. “Consumers are at the heart of our strategy, and throughout a lifetime of health needs, Best Buy is there to help enrich and save lives through technology and meaningful connections.”

Late last year, Best Buy also surprised some by taking a large step into the outdoor living market with its purchase of St. Louis Park-based outdoor furniture company Yardbird. This month, new Yardbird displays have been added to the sales floors at several Pacific Sales Kitchen & Home, which is a subsidiary of Best Buy.

Some of the inspiration for the Yardbird purchase came from customer feedback when Best Buy workers assisted them with technology in their homes.

“We saw a lot of outdoor televisions, outdoor audio but [customers] were actually asking us ‘Do you have furniture? I’d like to have something to sit on when I watch TV.’ Our answer at that point of time was ‘no,'” Bonfig said. “And they were asking for things like grills, they were asking for things that would really complete that outdoor experience and that’s really what led to the acquisition.”

Bonfig said customers should expect Best Buy to continue to expand its outdoor product offerings, which recently began to include tents and portable power generators.

Last year, Best Buy rapidly increased its selection of electric transportation products such as e-bikes and mopeds. During the next two years, the company plans to offer some of these products at nearly every Best Buy store, with more experiential displays in a select amount of stores.

Best Buy is piloting a repair service for e-transportation products. It’s also experimenting with providing electronic vehicle charging solutions that consumers could have installed in their garages.

Another large potential growth area for Best Buy is the virtual metaverse, which customers can experience with devices like virtual reality gaming headsets and more.

These won’t likely be the only non-traditional categories into which Best Buy ventures. Executives last year also mentioned that Best Buy plans to add products in sleep, pain management, vision and hearing.

“We continue to look at are there other places for us to go, places where customers are asking us for products, places where technology is advancing, and we continue to build out that assortment,” Bonfig said.

Best Buy, which has predicted a decline in sales and profits for this fiscal year as it invests in store remodels, new product categories and more, will announce its results for the February-through-April quarter later this month.

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