ActiveForever gets interactive

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --ActiveForever, a provider of DME, supplies and physical and exercise therapy equipment, has opened a showroom here that allows Internet customers to access live demos with in-store staff.

“The showroom is outfitted with network cameras,” said Erika Feinberg, CEO. “All of our customer service counselors have wireless headsets so they can stay on the phone with the customer, walk over to the product, hold it up to the camera and show the person how it works and what it looks like.”

Feinberg didn’t intend to go into “high maintenance” retail when she bought the company in 2002. The company filled Internet orders and shipped products across the country. It was not prepared to handle local sales when patients and healthcare professionals began knocking at the warehouse door.

Now, ActiveForever has two retail showrooms and caters to active baby boomers with disposable incomes.

“Before we knew it, we were doing $1 million in sales in the store and we had a constant flow of activity in there,” she said. “We said, ‘We better admit we have a retail business.’”

The showrooms give the company a connection to the community, Feinberg said. For example, therapists and trainers are also invited to work with clients in the store in an exercise therapy center.