Best Buy, which has made no secret of its plans to woo older consumers with health-related electronics, is launching Lively Smart. Called the "simplest smartphone yet," the 6.2-inch device is designed to make seniors feel safer and more connected.
Best Buy purchased Great Call, later renamed Lively, back in 2018 for $800 million. At that time, it staked its claim to the senior demographic of 50 million Americans 65 and older. It estimates that audience will grow 50% in 20 years.
The phone, priced at $150, also includes one-touch access to Lively Health and Safety Services, offering help for falls and other medical emergencies. It's also loaded with an app called Lively Link, which clues family members into the health of the phone's owner.
And while the company is probably best known for its Jitterbug phone for seniors, it offers a range of devices and personal emergency response systems.
"With Lively Smart, we're continuing to innovate and create products that meet the needs of our customers and help them live independently at home," says David Inns, Best Buy Health's president of active aging, in its announcement.
Separately, Best Buy posted results for the first quarter of its fiscal year that impressed observers with its post-pandemic resilience.
Domestic revenue shot up 37% to $10.84 billion, with comparable sales growth of 37.9%. The company notes gains in just about every category, with the most significant boosts coming from home theater, computing and appliances. Online revenue in the U.S. climbed 7.6% to $3.6 billion.
"Best Buy has started its year on an incredibly strong note with some of the best sales uplifts it has ever generated," writes Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, in his report on its results. "The growth numbers even exceed the peak increases posted in the third quarter of last year."
S&P upped Best Buy’s credit outlook as a result of its financial performance. "Although we expect strong operating results to moderate later this year as government stimulus benefits wane and consumers shift their spending to other categories," it writes in its report, "we expect demand for Best Buy's products and services to remain robust as business and consumer reliance on technology has accelerated."
S&P calls out Best Buy's health business, focusing on active aging, virtual care, and health trackers, as "tapping into consumer wellness and telehealth trends."