Best Buy targets elderly with GreatCall acquisition - Mobile World Live

Best Buy targets elderly with GreatCall acquisition

17 AUG 2018

US technology retailer Best Buy targeted a slice of the connected health services market through an $800 million cash deal to acquire MVNO GreatCall – its biggest acquisition ever.

GreatCall is best known for providing services tailored to elderly users, including connected health and emergency response set-ups using its Lively series of smart button and watch-like wearables. The MVNO also produces a line of basic phones under the Jitterbug moniker.

In June last year the company was acquired by private equity firm GTCR. It was founded in 2006 by inventor Arlene Harris.

The company brings more than 900,000 subscribers and annual revenue of more than $300 million to Best Buy. GreatCall will continue to operate from its headquarters in San Diego, with care centres in Carlsbad, California and Reno, Nevada. Current CEO David Inns will stay on.

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said the company plans to combine GreatCall’s expertise with the elderly with Best Buy’s merchandising, marketing, sales and services capabilities. The retailer is “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”.

The move comes as Best Buy aims to expand its portfolio beyond devices to services and solutions, with an eye specifically toward addressing the age demographic GreatCall already serves. Best Buy noted there are 50 million people in the US aged 65-years and over, a figure expected to grow by more than 50 per cent over the next 20 years.

Best Buy isn’t the only company to take note of this statistic. Verizon, T-Mobile US and Sprint all recently launched offers for consumers aged 55-years and up. During an earnings call, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said the segment was a “nice contributor” to the operator’s wireless growth in Q2.



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

Read more