Franchise snagstop style honors

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

DAUPHIN, Manitoba - The last thing Sandra Goertzen wants to do when an elderly or disabled person walks through the door of the MEDIChair franchise she owns with her husband is make their lives more difficult with cluttered and narrow aisles.
"This isn't a drug store or a vacuum store just filled with products," she said. "HME is our specialty, and we want to showcase that. We want to show them we understand (what they're going through) and that we're here to make them comfortable."
Consequently, in the past year, the Goertzens have moved to a new location that increased its size from 1,700 square feet to 5,500 square feet and adopted a design philosophy that promotes relaxation. The end result: less clutter, wider aisles and much more.
The Goertzens' work paid off in late March, when their franchise won MEDIChair's Harry Mykolaishyn Best Dressed Award. Each year, a field development team visits some of the company's 60 locations in Canada to select a winner based on store layout, staff uniforms, inventory displays and other criteria.
MEDIChair makes aesthetics a priority because it wants its locations to "present an image as well as knowledge," said Bas van Lankvelt, the company's director of support services.
"We want a welcoming environment where clients can try equipment and compare models," he said. "We want them to be able to do that in a home-style environment, so they can see how the equipment will look and work in their home."
At their new location, the Goertzens have incorporated private rooms for consultations and fittings. They've also designed their store layout in a way that clients can see what HME they may need or want when bathing, dressing, etc.
The finishing touch: "Plants that brighten up the store," said Sandra Goertzen.