Best Buy announced Tuesday that it will begin selling $2,000 Flywheel stationary bikes that offer virtual cycling classes; Hydrow rowing machines that give rowers views of Miami and New York; and NordicTrack treadmills with interactive coaching.
“Consumers want the benefits of boutique exercise clubs in the convenience of their homes,” Josh Will, who oversees Best Buy’s health assortment, told CNN Business in an interview. “They’re looking for a shortcut. We call it the ‘fitness hack.'”
“Best Buy has been working aggressively and successfully to diversify its product mix,” said Brian Nagel, managing director at Oppenheimer. “A move into fitness is a logical step.”
Flywheel and Hydrow
Wearables, including activity trackers and fitness watches, have been some of Best Buy’s fastest-growing products in recent years, leading the company to explore other tech opportunities in the fitness market.
Meanwhile, recent tech innovations in fitness have started to allow consumers to skip the gym and video stream classes live from their homes or train remotely with a virtual instructor.
“We’re seeing a growing intersection between technology and fitness,” Will said. “The industry is starting to be built.”
The industry may be emerging, but it’s also growing quickly. One analyst, Brian Smith from Piper Jaffray, pegs the digital fitness market at around $5 billion today — up from $2.1 billion three years ago.
Best Buy did not disclose the customer demographic it is targeting with its latest effort, but Nagel from Oppenheimer said he believes the company is chasing mid-to-upper-end consumers willing to pay up for tech-powered workouts.
Best Buy piloted the equipment at a handful of stores before deciding to start rolling it out to a tenth of its locations nationwide. To convince customers to buy bikes and treadmills, the retailer will offer free demos in stores and delivery and installation from its Geek Squad employees.
Might Best Buy sell existing bikes like Peloton one day? Will did not rule it out.
“We’re always looking to partner with innovative companies on their technology,” he said. “We’re just getting started.”