Retail: It's there for the taking

Sunday, June 30, 2002

LOS ANGELES - When it comes to selling retail home medical equipment, consultant Jack Evans has an amusing and illuminating story.

In downtown Los Angeles, on the same street within a couple of blocks of each other, sit an older, traditional HME and a pharmacy that also sells medical equipment. The pharmacy grosses about $800,000 a year, about 75% of that in cash sales. The traditional HME grosses about $3 million a year, about 5% in cash. The owner of the HME wants nothing to do with retail. His store front window is stocked high with beds, chairs and other equipment. The pharmacy, on the other hand, is designed like a department store, with displays and such. The moral of the story, Evans said, is that retail business goes to the store that looks like a retail store.

"Given any population there is a great opportunity for cash sales, it just depends who wants to go after those sales," he said. HME