This morning, consumer tech retailer Best Buy announced that it has expanded its arsenal of connected fitness products for consumers.
Ranging from in-home exercise systems with live classes to smart exercise recovery devices, the new offerings are now available through the retailer’s online storefront, and will also be found in dedicated fitness spaces coming to more than 100 stores before the year’s end.
“We know there’s a growing intersection between fitness and technology, and no one knows tech like we do,” Jason Bonfig, chief merchandising officer at Best Buy, 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 retailer highlighted five connected fitness device makers in its announcement. These include:
- Flywheel Sports, maker of an indoor cycling machine that displays live and on-demand workout classes;
- Hydrow, which offers a rowing machine with virtual classes hosted from real-life bodies of water;
- NordicTrack, which offers a handful treadmills, bikes, rowers and strength training machines supported by a virtual training membership program;
- NormaTec, maker of a digital compression recovery system; and
- Hyperice, which produces a range of fitness rollers, massagers, percussion devices, massage balls and other recovery tools.
According to the announcement, in-store staff will receive new training to help them win over customers, while its Geek Squad team will handle delivery and installation.
WHY IT MATTERS
If hefty funding rounds for connected exercise device makers and Peloton’s upcoming IPO weren’t already an indication of the market’s interest in this space, a focused product rollout from one of the largest electronics retailers should all but put the question to bed. Several of these kinds of products are a bit pricey for the average consumer, however, so it will still be interesting to see whether these in-home machines — and their respective subscription services — will fly off the shelves in the short and long term.
THE LARGER TREND
The new focus on connected workout devices is right in line with Best Buy’s broader shift toward health-minded consumers. It announced in April that it would begin selling Tyto Care’s remote care platform through its online storefront and certain stores. The retailer also acquired GreatCall and Critical Signal Technologies to add senior remote monitoring devices to its collection, although it ran into a bit of a hiccup this month with its Lively MobilePlus devices.
ON THE RECORD
"Fitness and wellness technology is evolving at an incredible pace and we're excited that Best Buy is helping Americans live better, healthier lives through their consumer tech expertise,” Laurie McCartney, president of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, said in a statement provided by Best Buy. “From wearable devices that track performance, to being able to stream exercise content anywhere, we see new opportunities for certified personal trainers and their clients to stay on track through smart and safe fitness experiences.”