A view of a Best Buy retail store on August 29, 2019 in San Bruno, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Best Buy begins selling luggage and outdoor grills as it seeks to capitalize on the recovery in the travel industry and popularity of home investments.
The consumer electronics retailer announced Tuesday that shoppers can now find Tumi suitcases, Weber grills, and other outdoor items, from patio furniture to heaters, on its website and in select stores – along with its usual mix of laptops, Video game consoles and other devices. Some of these items are geared towards tech purchases, such as laptop bags and a new eSports collection from Tumi that can carry gaming gear.
With this move, Best Buy joins other retailers as they are venturing into new categories and expanding their online range to attract more consumer attention and money. Lowe’s has also added adjacent products like outdoor toys like trampolines, small appliances like hot air fryers, and exercise equipment. Other retailers like Walmart and Target have used third-party marketplaces to increase ecommerce sales and penetrate new categories or brands.
Best Buy’s online sales in the US rose 144.4% last fiscal year as Americans bought computer monitors, tablets, kitchen gadgets, and other tools for working, studying, and cooking at home. The company received a boost from economic spending in the first quarter and raised its guidance for the first half of the year. However, CFO Matt Bilunas said demand could weaken later in the year as consumers spend on other areas like travel.
Online sales growth in the US slowed to 7.6% yoy in the first quarter, reflecting the difficult year-over-year comparisons the retailer will face in the months ahead.
For luggage and housewares, Best Buy is betting that the reopening of the economy and the strength of the real estate market can boost sales. CEO Corie Barry said last month that rising home values inspired customers to buy big screen TVs and commission the company to put technology around their home in the first quarter.
“Despite the increased demand we saw during the pandemic, we believe the nesting phenomenon will continue to drive demand for products and services that help customers improve their homes,” she said on the company’s conference call in the first quarter.