Medline launches HME retail solutions program

Sunday, July 31, 2005

MUNDELEIN, Ill. -- Medline hitched its wagon to the retail gravy train that's been rolling for the last decade or so when the company debuted its Merchandising Solutions program at a sales meeting in May.
In its first month, Medline won 32 new customers to a program that distributes planograms and merchandising collateral such as valances, posters and banners. The company has also enhanced its retail packaging with colors and pictures.
"At focus groups last year, our customers were telling us that retail was one of their highest growth areas," said Dave Jacobs, president of Medline's DME division. "As a percentage of their business, they say it's increasing from the teens to the 20s and heading north."
Wal-Mart began retailing HME in the mid-1990s. Last summer, its supercenters started turning heads as HME suppliers, from independents to Apria, started managing HME sales in select stores.
Wendi Phillips, who manages Breeze Medical in Blue Springs, Mo., used a Medline Merchandising Solutions to launch in a Wal-Mart Supercenter May 25.
"It works well with the slat wall, which is the Wal-Mart look," she said.