It has 'massive potential'

Friday, July 31, 2009

I wanted to thank you for the retail supplement in the July issue of HME News; it has helped re-kindle our efforts to find ways to enter this elephant of a market, albeit a sleeping one.

We are a retail design and display development company in Atlanta, and we have, for the past 3-4 years, been eyeing the HME industry, looking for business opportunities to work with product manufacturers, distributors and/or retailers. We have attended Medtrade, considered exhibiting and done awareness mailings, all so far with the impression that the medical industry either doesn’t need retail, doesn’t know how to do it, or doesn’t yet recognize its massive potential. We appreciate your attempts to change this mindset.

As a career retailer and retail service provider, I can’t relate to an industry that still largely sells its wares via face to face appointment consultations; has little option based assortment selection; and almost no branded presence to speak of. Has anyone reminded these companies that the baby boomer generation is single-handedly raising the bar for product needs; that they have money, and do not want the boring, non-creative product options most available to them via insurance provided means? They’ve grown up and earned the ability to pay for better product options in every other consumer category. I need someone to help me understand why there’s no confidence they won’t pay for it in this one.

We will continue to receive and read your publication; it’s interesting and well done. We will also continue to try and break into this industry, and hopefully at some point bring a high level of retail savvy and perspective to the table. The industry needs better information, better guidance, and better support than I’ve seen thus far. In the meantime, we applaud you for keeping the subject a relevant issue; hopefully, someone’s paying attention.

- Marty Walker, business development and strategy, Ermcar Inc.