Best Buy has acquired GreatCall, a provider of connected health and personal emergency response services to more than 900,000 subscribers, for $800 million in cash.
The electronics retailer has sought new growth opportunities since implementing its Best Buy 2020 strategy in March 2017, particularly through building out its IoT and smart home services and expanding its Geek Squad tech support services. The acquisition of GreatCall falls in line with Best Buy’s growth strategy and fits in with the company’s desire to address key human needs with the help of technology products, services and solutions.
GreatCall sells mobile devices and connected devices specifically designed to help aging consumers access urgent care 24/7. The company offers a range of services, including a one-touch connection to trained, U.S.-based agents who can connect the user to family caregivers, provide general concierge services, answer service-related questions and dispatch emergency personnel. With approximately 50 million Americans above age 65, a number that is expected to increase by more than 50% within the next 20 years, Best Buy sees this growing demographic as an opportunity to branch out into health services.
This isn’t Best Buy’s first attempt to break into health services for senior citizens. Last year, the company unveiled the Assured Living service, an elder care smart home service designed to help people remotely check in on the health and safety of their aging parents. The service offers families a free in-home assessment to determine which monitors and wireless sensors to deploy within the parent’s home.
Once the sensors are deployed, family members can use the Assured Living app to:
- Receive real-time alerts on their phone if anything seems out of the ordinary;
- Remotely activate door locks and lights; and
- Set reminders for the parent to take medication or for appointments.
It is unknown whether the GreatCall technology will be integrated in the Assured Living service, or if the two services will remain separate.
“Best Buy’s acquisition of GreatCall, a provider of connected health and emergency services to the aging population, will allow the company to continue to expand and broaden its services and deepen its customer relationships with a massive and growing segment of the U.S. population, and is therefore a positive,” said Moody’s Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O’Shea in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The $800 million price tag can easily be covered out of existing cash balances and operating cash flow, and we view this transaction as a long-term investment, with short-term profitability a secondary consideration.”
GreatCall will maintain its San Diego headquarters, as well as its Care Centers in Carlsbad, Calif. and Reno, Nev. Davis Inns will remain CEO of GreatCall upon the transaction’s completion.