BEST Buy is making a major change by stepping into the healthcare industry.
The retailer has begun delivering at-home medical equipment to patients as sales dwindle for regular items like TVs.
Best Buy has partnered with Atrium Health to sell, deliver, and install hospital equipment for patients at home.
The Geek Squad will come and install technology for patients who are receiving treatment outside of a traditional hospital.
These systems will include monitors for heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and other vitals.
The Geek Squad will also train patients or others in their homes on how to use the devices, and the data will be securely shared with doctors and nurses.
Patients will pay Atrium Health through their insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid.
A deal was struck on Tuesday with the provider, which is part of Advocate Health, to enable the hospital-at-home program following a small trial run in February.
Best Buy hopes that with Geek Squad installing the equipment, this will free up more time for doctors and nurses to focus on their patients’ health.
The company aims to have around 100 new patients set up every day – equivalent to a mid-sized hospital.
The move from Best Buy towards health care comes after a slow year of sales for its regular big ticket items like TVs and home theater systems.
CEO Corie Barry said in an earnings call recently that the company expects sales in its health division to grow faster than the rest of the business in 2023.
The retailer anticipates a same-store sales decline of between three percent and six percent in the next fiscal year.
Best Buy has begun to dip its toes into health over the last five years, acquiring three health care tech companies in the US and the UK.
The retailer also sells a number of fitness and wellness devices like motion trackers and hearing aids.
However, Best Buy Health President Deborah Di Sanzo admits the at-home-care aspect of its health business is in its early days and still returning a “very small” amount of revenue.
NOT THE BEST TIME
Best Buy and its competitors like Walmart and Target have all seen consumer demand for TVs and other pricey electronics drop off recently.
With inflation, customers are spending more on food, housing, and gas, while many already upgraded their laptops, phones, and appliances during the early days of the pandemic
As a result of the drop in sales, Best Buy is closing 17 stores this week alone.
A further “20 to 30” big stores will also be shut down over the next two years, according to Best Buy director Corie Barry.
Best Buy isn’t the only victim of the retail apocalypse.
Walmart is also closing five stores within a matter of days.
And even Amazon is feeling the struggle, with eight Amazon Go convenience stores closing for good on April 1.