Retailers – Best Buy, Amazon and CVS are Targeting California Seniors


Some retailers are already embracing California’s “Silver Rush”

Seniors in American will top nearly 100 million over the next 20 years. And Best Buy, CVS and Amazon are not waiting to invest and build a relationship with the wealthiest consumer segment in the country.

Having just completed the $800 million purchase of Great Call, Best Buy sees the potential in focusing on an active, aging population.

“Today, 42 million Americans are caring for the needs of an aging family member. Great Call is dedicated to supporting caregivers with the latest information and resources.”

Great Call’s 900,000 paying subscriber base hit $300 million in revenue this year. The Golden State alone represents several hundred million in reoccurring subscription sales from California seniors.

They call it “connected help and personal emergency response” backed with real time, live, medical specialists and a suite of devices for helping seniors to remember their meds, self-diagnose a current health concern, and provide urgent assistance in an emergency.

Best Buy saw the potential with seniors, the wealthiest customer base, with trends pointing to their long life expectancy and continued consumer consumption.

“Now we have the opportunity to serve the aging population by combining GreatCall’s expertise with Best Buy’s unique merchandising, marketing, sales and services capacities.” Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly

Healthcare to seniors has always been a key discipline for the pharmacy retailer community. Just as Best Buy announced their GreatCall deal, CVS, with nearly 10,000 locations nationwide and approaching 900 locations in California alone, is bringing video healthcare to all population groups.

For seniors who have rapidly embraced technology usage, this move from CVS creates a stronger loyalty and link between senior shoppers and their more active lifestyles as well as their quest for information. CVS just increased accessibility for millions of California seniors with its CVS Minute Clinic rollout. This big news means time saving and more personal access to nurse practitioners, physicians, and assistants from their home or mobile device for $59 per online use.

CVS is smart to expand more boomer-oriented services in the medical field. This is because Amazon, the mother of all retailer disruption, is yet another company that is focusing even harder on America’s healthcare system and seniors.

Amazon spent $1 billion to buy Pill Pack, the online pharmacy that provides pre-packed doses, coordinates refills, and assures on time delivery. Needless to say, it fits right into the Amazon model.

Amazon has also formed an alliance with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to help drive down the costs of healthcare to their employees. These moves further underscore the fight over consumer’s healthcare expenditures, and a battle for senior loyalty and market share which CMOs should embrace.

Acquisitions and innovations like Best Buy, CVS and Amazon may seem just like another investment from three high volume players. But it’s driven in part by the ‘silver’ found in California’s hills–the nation’s largest senior adult population.

California seniors will be in their prime ‘healthcare utilization’ for years as many will choose to work well beyond age 65. As a result, CMOs across the retail spectrum should be asking – “what can our brand do to build trust and business from a dedicated senior strategy?” It’s time to join the “Silver Rush”.

Photo by Lakov Filmonov

Author Profile

Brad Ball
Brian Morris and I have been good friends and industry competitors for years. We both have run major advertising agencies and both have held top level client-side positions. I am a former partner at ad agency Davis, Ball and Colombatto, and the former Chief Marketing Officer at McDonalds and President, Theatrical Marketing for Warner Brothers. Brian and I are now in our 60’s and came together in 2017 to form a company that understands the Senior market better than traditional ad agencies, Silver Advertising. We are now poised to be passionate advocates for these consumers as they enter their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond.

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