Best Buy bought the company behind senior-friendly JitterBug phone

Best Buy Great Call acquisition

The big electronics retailer, Best Buy, has said that they will be acquiring the health tech company GreatCall for $800 million. It offers a combination of mobile products and connected devices tailored for aging consumers.

The acquisition may not seem like a natural fit for a retailer of TVs and computer gear.

"Now, we have a great opportunity to serve the needs of these customers by combining GreatCall's expertise with Best Buy's unique merchandising, marketing, sales and services capabilities", Best Buy chairman and CEO Hubert Joly said in the press release.

In other words, numerous customers who seek help from Best Buy's Geek Squad are also seniors who have difficulty setting up and maintaining home computers and Internet-connected appliances. GreatCall not only gives Best Buy more services to sell them, it offers the Geek Squad a broader customer base to reach out to. Features of GreatCall's devices include a one-touch connection to trained agents in the US who can put the user in touch with a caregiver, provide general concierge services, answer device-related questions, and dispatch emergency personnel.

The GreatCall devices will reportedly be part of Best Buy's new Assured Living unit, which sells connected products like smart doorbells and bed sensors to remotely monitor the well-being of grams and gramps.

GreatCall will maintain its San Diego headquarters, as well as its care centers in Carlsbad, California, and Reno, Nevada.

Great Call's CEO, David Inns, will remain in his position after the sale closes.

GreatCall has more than 900,000 paying subscribers using its services to stay independent longer. Moreover, a report from the Population Reference Bureau found that this very population is expected to increase by around 50 percent within the next 40 years.

What does Best Buy know that we don't??

"With Best Buy's 1,000 retail locations, deep e-commerce experience and the ability to service customers in their homes with Geek Squad, this is an incredibly powerful partnership that is going to take our mission to the next level", GreatCall's Inns said in a statement.

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