Best Buy Jumps Into Hearing Aids After FDA Clears OTC Sales

Best Buy

Best Buy will begin offering Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated hearing aids, following a ruling this week by the federal government allowing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of the devices.

The tech retailer said in a press release Wednesday (Aug. 17) that it will begin selling an expanded collection of hearing devices this fall, with an “in-store experience” at more than 300 of its stores and a new online hearing assessment offering.

The news comes one day after the FDA issued a ruling that creates a new category of OTC hearing aids.

According to the FDA’s announcement, this move lets people with “perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment” buy hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without needing a doctor’s exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.

Best Buy said in the release it has for years offered other hearing solutions, such as “personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), self-fitting hearing devices, TV amplifiers, hearing protection devices and other accessories.”

With the expansion, customers can get a hearing assessment on the company website that helps them determine their level of hearing loss and find the right hearing aid for them, the release stated.

In May, Best Buy began to expand its product lines and add new ones, with a focus on — among other things — health and wellness. That included new skincare technology offerings as well as products from Therabody, maker of TheraFace PRO, a portable device that provides percussive therapy, microcurrent, LED and cleansing for users faces.

Read more: Best Buy Adds Health, Outdoor and Transportation Products

Also in May, the company reported an 8% year-over-year decline in comparable store sales to $10.6 billion for the 13 weeks ending April 30, forcing a downward revision of its full-year fiscal 2023 plans.

See more: Best Buy Revises Its FY23 Plans After Q1 Struggle

The new hearing aid offering could be a blessing at a time when electronics retailers are struggling, as the FDA announcement stated nearly 30 million Americans could benefit from a hearing device.

Read also: Connected Tech Overcomes Hearing Aids Stigma

For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.