ISG marks anniversary with new products

Friday, October 31, 2008

MILFORD, Mass.--Invacare Supply Group commemorated five years of private labeling for Invacare in October by offering providers several new products and sale prices.

New Invacare brand products include overnight protective underwear and TRUEresult no-code blood glucose meters. The distributor counts Invacare-brand incontinence and diabetic supplies as its biggest selling and most profitable products, said Greg Bosco, director of merchandising and marketing.

“When Invacare purchased Suburban Ostomy in 2000, one of my initial assignments was to develop a private label program for Invacare,” he said. “I had hoped it would be a good alternative to branded products, but this has exceeded my expectations.”

Invacare Supply offers 20,000 SKUs from about 500 manufacturers. Invacare-brand supplies account for about 600 SKUs and more than 13% of the distributor’s total business.

In late September, Invacare Supply mailed out a four-page, color flyer to an active customer list of about 21,000 providers, offering them sale prices on the new products and others.

The Invacare-brand products have resonated with providers, Bosco said, because they offer “a good alternative” to national brands, both in quality and price (they’re up to 20% cheaper).

“When all you see is reimbursement cuts everywhere, saving a dollar here or there works,” he said.

The new products and sale flyer represent another way Invacare Supply has tried to drive home to providers the importance of cash sales. By the end of 2008, providers will have ordered 4.1 million of its product flyers designed to advertise retail items, Bosco said.