Big names bring star power to home access market

‘The market is only tapping—at most—15% of its potential’
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Editor’s note: Previously, we ran stories about former Numotion exec Paul Bergantino and National Seating & Mobility getting into this market. This week, we look at what it means when complex rehab’s biggest names get into a market full force.

YARMOUTH, Maine – Even with two of complex rehab’s biggest names entering the home accessibility market, HME consultant Bill Stelzer says there’s more than enough business for everyone.

In October, National Seating & Mobility launched AccessNSM in Pomfret Center, Conn., which has seven locations stretching from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and former Numotion CEO Paul Bergantino recently launched Lifeway Mobility in Windsor Locks, Conn.

“I think the market is underserved,” said Stelzer, HME consultant to Accessible Home Improvement of America, a division of The VGM Group. “If I had to make an estimate I would say that the market is only tapping—at most—15% of its potential.”

If anything, Stelzer says smaller companies will only benefit from the new entrants to the market—particularly when it comes to advertising.

“I think nationals tend to advertise or promote more, which is going to create an awareness of this industry,” he said.

As the former general manager of Green Bay Home Medical Equipment,Stelzer would know. When Green Bay first entered the home modifications segment more than 15 years ago, Ed McMahon was promoting walk-in tubs for Premier Bathrooms on TV.

“People would come into our store and say, ‘There’s the tub that Ed McMahon advertises for you,’ and it wasn’t ours, it was Premier’s, which was a national company,” he said.

Like Stelzer, Lloyd McIvor, home environmental access consultant at Handi Home Living Solutions in St. Paul, Minn., sees the addition of AccessNSM and Lifeway Mobility to the home accessibility market as a good thing.

“I think more competition in this field only brings about better results for customers,” he said.