Best Buy leaps into fitness equipment

by Mae Anderson
Wednesday Nov 11, 2009
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Best Buy Co. wants to get your pulse racing over more than the hottest new laptops and TVs. Starting Wednesday the electronics chain will sell health and fitness equipment in 40 stores across the U.S.

It may seem like a stretch for it to branch into territory dominated by sporting goods stores and chains like Sears and Target, but Best Buy said it is a natural extension.

"We’re offering the latest and greatest technology in health and fitness," said Steve Trier, director for new categories at Best Buy. "There’s been a lot of change in that industry and what these products can do for our customers and their lives."

Of more than 1,000 stores nationwide, 40 in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas will offer equipment related to running, walking, swimming, yoga and other activities, including pedometers, special MP3 players, yoga mats, scales and blood pressure monitors. They also will offer treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines. In some locations, customers will be able to try out the equipment. The products also are available online at www.bestbuy.com.

Best Buy, based in Minneapolis, says its services and staff differentiate it from purely Web-based competitors and from discounters, and customers can get help from its Geek Squad technical support staff setting up any Best Buy product including fitness equipment.

The chain has recently branched into other new arenas, selling musical instruments and DJ equipment and expanding its mobile offerings.

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