Reporter's Notebook: Looking forward, not back

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hermitage, Tenn.-based provider Kevin Brown is excited about the year ahead.

A big reason why: All Star Medical Supply recently opened a new retail location in Franklin and moved its existing Hermitage operation into a much larger location (6,000 square feet vs. 2,000 square feet).

“We’ve been doing retail since 2009 and we’ve had a lot of success,” said Brown, owner. “It was probably less than 10%. Now we are probably between 35% to 40% and hoping to get that a little higher.”

One product category Brown has high hopes for: vehicle lift and stair lift rentals.

“Maybe it’s a new situation for the family,” he said. “They don’t have to do the full commitment to the stair lift—they can see how it goes for three to five months.”

All Star Medical has also captured further business from skilled nursing facilities by selling items like cushions and wheelchairs directly to them, Brown said.

“We are already there talking to them,” he said. “Some of them have national contracts (with vendors), but being a local provider, we’ve been able to pull a little business.”

Provider Jim Leedom is not only increasing cash sales, he’s adding high-end rehab to his service offerings. There are several assisted living facilities in his area with patients who have lost mobility due to stroke or other injury. 

“They need a power wheelchair,” said Leedom, owner of Home Health Depot in Lomita, Calif. “That market is wide open. We started with one client, and within a week, had five to evaluate. Between that and retail, we’ll do just fine.”