Best Buy Sets its Sights Further Afield

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is adding merchandise that might surprise shoppers who typically think of its stores and website as a place to buy smartphones, laptops and TVs.

The company said Friday it has begun to carry about 100 skin-care devices, including a facial steamer and at-home tool for microdermabrasion, at nearly 300 stores and on its website.

Best Buy is making a broader push into categories such as fitness and furniture as it looks to propel growth beyond the COVID pandemic. The company benefited from early pandemic trends, as people sought computer monitors for home offices, kitchen appliances for more at-home cooking and theater systems or giant TVs to pass the time.

Now, however, the retailer faces a more challenging landscape. It cautioned in March that it expects a same-store sales decline of between 1% and 4% in the coming year after a period of very high demand.

The retailer has expanded its merchandise offering in recent years. Best Buy debuted connected fitness products from exercise brands including NordicTrack and Hydrow in summer 2019. It rolled out outdoor grills from Weber and Traeger in June and a line of electric bikes, scooters and mopeds in August. It acquired Yardbird, a direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture company, for an undisclosed sum in November.

Best Buy has also bought health-care companies, including GreatCall, which sell devices and services that help older adults age in their own homes.

BBY shares sank $2.24, or 2.4%, to open Friday at $89.97.