By Steve Smith on Dec 17 2010 - 5:09pm

Health, Fitness Items Are Just The Beginning

After getting pilloried for its fiscal third quarter performance by Wall Street, Best Buy announced this morning it is rolling out health and fitness products in stores nationwide and, of course, online.

Good for them and good for the industry because this is only the beginning in the elusive search for profits from new categories.

Best Buy — as well as any other type of CE-related retailer — will be carrying electronic-based health and fitness products of all shapes and sizes starting now.

And, as we have discussed here plenty of times this year, the time has come for CE and major appliance retailers to begin carrying home-control products and systems that can monitor and save energy in a myriad of forms.

You will probably see some major manufacturers at International CES, or by the first quarter, announce plans for systems that save, store and control energy usage at the home.

These products should be similar to traditional electronics/appliance categories in that this industry’s retailers should be able to explain, sell and install (if necessary) these products and systems — if dealers get the opportunity to do it and the proper training.

While the electronics/appliance business has battled the harsh economy in the past couple of years, there are still opportunities out there.

Just think — Best Buy said in October it will begin testing vehicle-charging stations at some stores in March.

So, who knows, maybe some of these new categories — and others we know nothing about — may bring some profitability back in the new year? At least we should take on the luxury of hoping that will be the case.

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