Provider 'appeals" with products
PARKER, Colo. – Before Bill and Doreen Leahy sold their mechanical contracting firm and moved from New York to the Rocky Mountain State two years ago, the entrepreneurial-minded couple searched for a new business they could embrace and nurture. For them, opening an HME retail store fit the bill perfectly.
“We saw it as an opportunity to inject fresh blood into the industry,” Bill Leahy said about opening Independently Yours in 2015. “We have found it to be a lot less stressful than our previous company, which we operated for 27 years. Customer service is our thing and we can make a big difference here.”
The Leahys settled on the HME industry because they have a personal connection to it from relatives who have needed care. That is why their business focus is on helping to keep seniors independent in their homes with a product mix that includes mobility, bath safety, aids to daily living items, lift chairs, stair lifts and ramps.
The 2,500-square-foot store has an 1,800-square-foot showroom and the interior features a “comfortable” shopping ambience patterned after merchandising giant Nordstrom’s. The town of Parker is an upscale community and that demographic is important in making the HME retail concept work, Leahy said.
“We are designed to appeal to people who need our products and can afford to pay out-of-pocket for them,” he said. “We don’t carry cheap, inferior products. We carry the best-in-class for all categories. We only work with manufacturers who firmly stand behind their products.”
To boost their online presence, the Leahys implemented an e-commerce feature for their website. But as Bill Leahy explains, the addition had more to do with improved functionality than with driving cyber sales.
“We never meant to build a big e-commerce presence—we just want to communicate what we have in the store,” he said.
After being open for a year, one of the biggest successes of the business has been with bath safety products—especially the installation segment, Leahy said.
“The best part is that it allows me to build relationships with my customers. It has led to a lot of add-on sales and a loyal client base.”