Home Care Medical 'wows' baby boomers

Saturday, June 30, 2007

NEW BERLIN, Wis. - Realizing that it will be "a different world out there in the next few years," Home Care Medical recently expanded and remodeled its retail location to woo baby boomers who buy home medical equipment for their elderly parents.
Home Care Medical made $300,000 worth of improvements to the Greenfield, Wis., location. The provider expanded its footprint from about 3,000 to 9,000 square feet, and created a welcome center and several room-like areas to highlight retail products. At an open house attended by Greenfield's mayor April 25, referral sources and long-time customers were awestruck, company officials said.
"'Wow' sticks out as the most common response," said Patti Kelnhofer, Home Care Medical's manager of retail services.
Home Care Medical has made retail a priority for much of its 34-year history. But the revamped retail location "takes it up a notch," said John Teevan, president of Home Care Medical.
"We've been looking, like most of our competitors, at the future and realizing that it's going to be a different world out there in the next few years," he said. "We needed to see where we were and where we needed to be to compete, and retail is an increasing part of that."
The remodeled location boosts Home Care Medical's retail strategy by allowing the provider to better emphasize education. At the welcome center, for instance, employees meet customers as they enter the location and guide them through product selection. Before customers leave, employees hand out welcome kits that include their business cards. The provider also has a nurse on staff to answer questions.
"We try to make it a good experience under conditions that aren't always so great," Kelnhofer said.
To strengthen education further, as well as to draw foot traffic into the store, Home Care Medical has held several events, including a show-and-tell tour for residents of a local independent living community.
Additionally, the remodeled location gives Home Care Medical more room for respiratory and rehab products. It features a "Respiratory Care Center,"complete with a handful of fitting rooms for CPAP devices and masks staffed by respiratory therapists.
"Essentially, the market has been telling us what to do," said Kandy Raether, director of sales and marketing for Home Care Medical. "We're seeing referrals increase for respiratory and rehab, and those are profitable areas."