Remedy for retail

Provider bets on wellness model
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Friday, January 13, 2017

FLETCHER, N.C. – As many retailers push for a greater online presence to woo would-be customers, Remedy Health & Wellness is taking a different approach, putting the focus squarely on customers who walk through its doors.

The Fletcher, N.C., store is designed to help customer with just about any health or wellness issue, whether it’s a new mom looking for a breast pump or a weekend warrior hoping to stay active and reduce discomfort, said Marcus Suess, who co-owns the store with Jason De Los Santos.

“We’re focusing on the active community, from birth all the way to aging in place,” added Suess, CEO of All-States Medical Supply. “We have a comfortable environment where people can come in and talk about the things they need.”

Remedy Health & Wellness is stocked with traditional medical equipment like lift chairs, canes and walkers, but there’s also retail space for aromatherapy, support pillows, Vionic orthotic shoes and recovery socks for athletes. Employees are not only knowledgeable about the products they sell, but they can also educate customers about their particular health needs.

The result is an optimal shopping experience for consumers seeking “caretailing”—a hybrid blending traditional HME, retail and concern for the needs of caregivers. It’s a reflection of the needs of today’s shoppers who often want more than what is written on a doctor’s pad and are willing to pay the difference, said Maria Markusen, director of operations and development for VGM Retail, which worked with Suess on Remedy’s launch. 

“We’ve been focused on the sick for so long, but now with boomers, we have a market of consumers who are focused on the healthcare experience,” she said. “We may shop online, but if we go into the store we want the experience to be as useful as possible. We are willing to spend time and money if it’s valuable.”

Remedy is a retail venture, but it also operates a traditional pharmacy within the store that provides prescription medications and accepts insurance. Suess is confident the Remedy model will succeed because of its customer-centric approach.

“Our business plan calls for five stores in five years,” said Suess, who has operated a traditional mail-order supplies business since 2001. “As soon as this is looking strong, we plan to invest in the next one.”