Countdown to Medtrade: Tools to tackle retail, bidding

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ATLANTA - HME providers looking to improve their retail strategies will have a place at Medtrade to see tangible ideas on display.

The new "Home & Retail Design Center" on the exhibit floor will show providers how to showcase different product mixes, how to merchandise products in "like" categories and how to use attractive signage and fixtures. Rob Baumhover, director of retail programs for Waterloo, Iowa-based The VGM Group, says the center's purpose is to make HME providers more "shoppable" to customers.

"It's a cash business, first and foremost," he said. "With the growing number of cuts industry-wide, retail is becoming more and more essential to survive. Hopefully, through this exhibit, providers will see how to get the most out of their retail space and take some ideas on how traffic flow and effective merchandising can lead to a successful, profitable showroom."

Medtrade takes place Oct. 24-27 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The center shares the same exhibit space as the Medtrade Accessible Home and is sponsored and staffed by Nationwide Homes, Accessible Home Improvement of America and VGM. Some of the product categories on display are pain management, respiratory, rehab accessories and wound care.

"When it comes to merchandising, it's important to keep like products and their add-ons together," Baumhover advised. "The most important thing to consider when it comes to merchandising is to remember the customer you're catering to--make sure aisles are extra wide and clear and don't put product too high or too low. Keeping things easily accessible and readily available is paramount."

Ultimately, the center was conceived "just to let providers know what options are available," Baumhover said.

"Times are tough," he said. "We all know this and experience it on a daily basis. I'd like to think that a strong retail business with good sales training and the right staff can be very profitable."

Medtrade launches Competitive Bidding Central

ATLANTA - Medtrade announced Sept. 16 that it will feature a new Competitive Bidding Central at this year's show. It is open to all attendees and exhibitors and offers presentations and one-on-one access to industry experts. Participants will also have access to a library of resources provided by Brown & Fortunato, The MED Group and The VGM Group.