Best Buy expands fitness pilot to 600 stores nationally

A year after a 40-store pilot of fitness and health product, Best Buy has expanded the new category to nearly two-thirds of its stores. Get the details.
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A year after a 40-store pilot of fitness and health product, Best Buy has expanded the new category to nearly two-thirds of its stores.

With the formal announcement coming from Best Buy Dec. 17, SNEWS® learned the nearly 10-week process of building and stocking the departments at 600 of its 1,000 stores was completed by Thanksgiving weekend.

The product will also be available online. According to the statement and to a search online, brands included are Gaiam, GoFit, H2O Audio, LifeSpan, MIO, Polar, Sportline and Yurbuds, as well as a number of brands from Icon Fitness, such as Proform, FreeMotion, HealthRider, Reebok and WesLo.

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“We were encouraged by the enthusiastic response we saw from our customers during the initial pilot of these health and fitness products,” said Chris Koller, vice president of the Portable Electronics Solutions Group at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), in a company statement. 

Although not yet officially announced on Dec. 5, Best Buy’s (www.bestbuy.com) national circular featured Gaiam products at 20 percent off. Other brands will be focused in coming ads, SNEWS has learned.

In-store, the display is 30 feet where customers can take a look at electronics, mats, scales and other monitors, usually opposite a section of equipment such as treadmills or ellipticals.

The expanded rollout comes a year after Best Buy took a small five-store test to 40 stores a year ago. Click here to see a Nov. 11, 2009, SNEWS story

“With the nationwide rollout, we aim to arm our consumers with the latest tools available for enhancing their fitness conditioning,” Koller said in the statement, “while also providing the technical support needed to keep them on track to meet their goals.”

The same week the Minneapolis-based company announced the launch, it also announced lower-than-expected third-quarter net income. According to the company, revenue in stores open at least 14 months fell 5 percent in the United States, hurt by lower revenue from TVs and entertainment hardware and software. Its net income fell 4 percent to $217 million, or $0.54 per share, from $227 million, or $0.53 per share, last year. Revenue fell 1 percent to $11.89 billion, from $12.02 billion last year.

Its share price closed Dec. 17 at $40.94, down from its price at the start of the week of $45.37.

--Therese Iknoian

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