American Standard taps HME

Friday, October 25, 2013

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – American Standard made a splash at Medtrade this year by outfitting the Retail Design Center with not one but two safe and accessible bathrooms.

While the company is a fixture at Home Depot and other mass retailers, it’s a relative newcomer to the HME market. The company exhibited at Medtrade for the first time in 2012 and ramped up its presence this year by participating in the Retail Design Center.

“We want to tap into the HME market and build relationships there, in terms of building 

awareness of the options retailers can give customers,” said Jen Anderson, marketing program manager. “Most customers, unless they’re in need of bathing assistance, don’t think, ‘Can I get my leg over that bathtub?’ The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house; 70% of falls happen there.”

American Standard outfitted the “his and her” bathrooms in the Retail Design Center with cash products like low-threshold showers, built-in seats, right-height toilets and sinks, and grab bars.

One new product, launched in September: a walk-in bathtub with an outward opening door.

“Instead of pushing the door in, making you have to maneuver around it, the front of the tub swings out,” Anderson said. “So if you’re in a wheelchair, you can open the door completely and easily transfer yourself into the seat.”

With a few bath companies already targeting the HME market, American Standard is positioning itself as a one-stop shop for safety and accessible bathroom products, Anderson says.

“There are great product lines out there, but they’re limited,” she said. “When you look at our line of accessible bathing, the possibilities are endless.”

The 5,500-square-foot Retail Design Center, presented by the VGM Group and sponsored by Philips Respironics, was also outfitted with a living room and bedroom, and featured window displays and point-of-purchase displays.

“We’re not telling providers to get into retail, but we think it’s important to show them what it could look like if they did,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director. “Maybe they’ll think, ‘We could do something like that.’”