Q&A: Jack Evans: retail reigns

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do you want to get into HME retail, but don't know how and don't want to hire a consultant? Well, there's a new resource at your fingertips. Veteran industry consultant Jack Evans has launched the Alliance for Retail HomeCare, a national association for providers who have or want retail showrooms. Here's what Evans had to say about why he launched the new association and why retail is here to stay.

HME News: Why did you start an association specific to retail?

Jack Evans: I've had clients over the years ask me, "Why isn't there a networking group for providers looking to improve their retail businesses?" And I've found myself, in the last year, forwarding e-mails from one client to another about which rollator to carry and what sells best. People want to share experiences.

HME: Is the importance of retail finally sinking in with providers?

Evans: The demand is still increasing for HME, but what's changing is how those products are paid for. It's going to be a rude transition because of competitive bidding, but as baby boomers age, they're going to have to start paying for HME out of pocket. There's going to be a shift to cash.

HME: What's one of the most important things providers who want to get into HME retail can do to get off on the right foot?

Evans: They need help. They need to bring someone in who knows retail. A provider will say they're going to get into retail and they make the intake person the customer service person. That's going to fail. A provider who hires people with retail experience, whether they're managers or sales people, are the ones who are successful.