Best Buy Sees Retail in Hospitals
By Bernice Hurst, Contributing Editor,
Flower shops, coffee shops and other places to buy books, magazines
and gifts are ubiquitous in hospitals. What is there to add?
Best Buy sees
room for cell phone chargers, digital cameras, data cards, sound-canceling
earphones, small TVs, DVD players and at least a few other items. As a result,
the electronics retailer has negotiated a sales area in the gift shop of Memorial
Hospital in South Bend, IN.
Under the partnership, Best Buy will supply a selection
of products for sale within the gift shop and the hospital will retain a percentage
of the revenue generated. Best Buy’s first-ever Quick Picks display features
a mix similar to many of the vending machines it is featuring in airports
for travelers, although they’re aimed at patients, visitors and staff.
the hospital’s vice president, thinks the new link-up means
"Life doesn’t stop for any of us when a loved one is in the
hospital, and as our world becomes more electronically connected, patients
and visitors are often in need of items to help them stay connected," said
Ms. Stover in a statement from Memorial Hospital. "We developed this project
prototype as a way to make it convenient for visitors, staff and patients to
get things they need. This new model helps to enhance the overall experience
and generate new revenue for our organization."
Joe Weiss, Best Buy account
manager for Indiana, added in the statement, "When
Memorial suggested the idea we thought it had merit. We hope this test will
lead to a nation-wide program that will help make things a bit easier for families
with loved ones in the hospital."
But two newspapers in Britain spotted
one potential downside. Reporters found that both Marks & Spencer and WH
Smith charge more in hospital stores than for identical items purchased in
the high street. The Daily Mirror sent
reporters to Marks & Spencer’s outlets in May 2010 but The Daily
Mail did its WH Smith price check way back in January 2009. It can only
be hoped that the convenience upside offered by Memorial and Best Buy are
priced at a downside-avoiding level.
Discussion Questions: How would you rate the retail opportunity for consumer
electronics at hospitals? What other retail opportunities may be missing
partners with Best Buy to offer some electronics – South Bend
Tests Hospital Concept in Indiana – Memorial Hospital/InsideINdianaBusiness.com
- Marks & Spencer
hospital shops charge more than on the high street – Daily
accused of ‘ripping off’ vulnerable patients at hospital outlets – Daily Mail