Best Buy acquires GreatCall, expanding reach in health space

Best Buy today announced we have agreed to acquire GreatCall Inc. in an $800 million deal that expands our reach in the large and growing health space.

GreatCall is a leading provider of connected health and personal emergency response services to the aging population, with more than 900,000 subscribers. It sells easy-to-use mobile phones and connected devices that provide a way for seniors to reach a medical professional at the touch of the button. That design allows aging consumers to live independently longer, while also providing peace of mind to their loved ones.

Those offerings align with Best Buy’s mission to enrich people’s lives through technology and build on our existin­­­g efforts in the health space. As part of our Best Buy 2020: Building the New Blue strategy, we have specifically focused on addressing the growing needs of the aging population with the help of technology products and services.

That’s a market that has never been more relevant. Approximately 50 million Americans are 65 or older, and that number is expected to grow more than 50 percent within the next 20 years.

“We know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them,” Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly said. “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.”

This is the largest acquisition in Best Buy’s history and the first since Hubert became CEO in 2012. Past acquisitions have included Geek Squad, Magnolia, Pacific Sales and Future Shop, a move that paved the way for our entry into Canada.

Founded in 2006, GreatCall makes Jitterbug mobile phones and Lively wearable devices that provide easy, one-touch access to U.S.-based agents who can connect the user to family caregivers, provide concierge services or dispatch emergency personnel. It also offers a variety of innovative connected health and safety services, including daily medication monitoring.

Best Buy was GreatCall’s first retail partner, and we’ve been selling its products for a decade. GreatCall’s products and services are also sold at GreatCall.com and at leading retailers nationwide.

Moving forward, GreatCall will continue to operate separately, with CEO David Inns staying on in his role. The company’s headquarters will remain in San Diego and its caring centers will remain at their current locations in Carlsbad, California, and Reno, Nevada.

GreatCall is a growing, profitable business, and joining Best Buy will help it serve the aging population on an even larger scale.

“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,” David said.

Hubert added: “We look forward to working closely with David and his management team and are excited by the opportunities we have in the health space and the strengths we can bring to bear in this area, especially our experience with technology and serving customers in their home.”

Best Buy’s acquisition of GreatCall is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It’s expected to close by the end of Best Buy’s fiscal 2019 third quarter.