Is Best Buy the New Sporting Goods Store?

October 25, 2010


When you think of Best Buy, you probably think of televisions, appliances, gaming systems, computers and everything that has to do with electronics and technology.  But would it be the first place you'd go to purchase workout gear? My husband and I were recently appliance hunting at Best Buy. Like normal, we got derailed, but this time by a display with swimming workout gear. There were underwater iPod sleeves, earphones and goggles. My first thought was, "Wow, you can swim AND listen to your iPod? Sweet!" Needless to say, I was intrigued and inspired to finally make time for swim lessons. All of these items at Best Buy? Not completely out of the ordinary, but intriguing none the less. As we moved around the display, there was a large selection of gear for runners. From the Garmin forerunner to basic speedometers, they had everything the tech savvy runner would ever want or need. I have to say, I was impressed. As we moved to the opposite side of the display, my husband and I looked at each wondering if we were thinking the same thing. There, on the shelves, were yoga mats, yoga props, hand weights, stability balls, digital bathroom scales and weight lifting gloves. I was floored at the amount of fitness items they were selling. I never thought I would ever go to Best Buy to purchase a yoga mat or bathroom scale. I immediately went home to see if they also expanded their line of fitness gear to their online store. Turns out, there's even more fitness equipment online, including treadmills and elliptical machines. So, what's the deal with Best Buy getting in on the fitness market? Turns out Best Buy began selling treadmills in 2009. Seems odd right? Not so much said Steve Trier, Best Buy spokesman. ""We are looking at the things that technology can do for our customers," Trier said. "This is just a natural migration for us. We don't actually see this as a giant leap away from our core business." I can only suspect that Best Buy is feeling the effects of the digital music era, the recession and online discount retailers. But, I guess the real question is, how receptive are consumers to their entry into the fitness market? Is it just another way for the company to make money or are they making these items more accessible and convenient. Maybe it's a way to encourage all those gamers to take a break from the couch and get fit and active. I am glad that the fitness industry is expanding and unlikely retailers, like Best Buy, are following suit. I like knowing that I don't have to rely on Dick's Sporting Goods or speciality shops to help me achieve my fitness goals and neither does the rest of America.  My question is, what retailer will be next? Will Lowe's start selling running tights? [caption id="attachment_788" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Checking out the Garmin Forerunner at Best Buy"][/caption]

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