Best Buy will enter the wireless industry. The electronics retailer announced that it has acquired GreatCall, which offers mobile devices and service for senior citizens.
You might’ve heard of the JitterBug. The flip phone was made popular by television advertisements in which older men and women appreciated its basic user interface and massive navigation buttons. During these ads, GreatCall also incorporated the jitterbug dance style.
The idea to target senior citizens in a lively ad campaign was spot-on, and GreatCall now has more than 900,000 subscribers.
GreatCall doesn’t own a network, though. It actually pays Verizon for access, meaning the carrier is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). That doesn’t hurt when Big Red operates the nation’s fastest, most reliable network. Senior citizens must care more about reliability than apps and VoLTE, anyway.
The deal between Best Buy and GreatCall is worth $800 million. It joins a list of acquisitions for the electronics retailer that includes Geek Squad, Magnolia, Pacific Sales, and Future Shop. While retail stores have seen a steady decline in foot traffic against online shopping, Best Buy’s remained competitive. It still operates holds a respected, nationwide presence.
In announcing the agreement, Best Buy confirmed it sees an opportunity to serve “the growing needs of the aging population” that’s often overlooked.