Reunited in the name of retail

Monday, March 21, 2016

OLD FORGE, Pa. – Retail powerhouses Golden Technologies and The VGM Group have reunited to help HME providers up their game.

Golden, a manufacturer of lift chairs and mobility products designed for cash sale, and The VGM Group, a member services organization with a Retail Services division, kicked off a joint tour on March 15 in Philadelphia to educate providers on everything from showroom layout and design to merchandising to retail metrics.

“We’ve been watching them and they’ve really taken a hold of retail,” said C.J. Copley, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Golden. “This really aligns them with us more than in the past.”

Other stops on the tour so far: Omaha, Neb., on April 13 and Baltimore on May 17.

Golden and VGM were partners previously, but they terminated their relationship in 2006, when, with the pressure mounting from the upcoming Medicare competitive bidding program, their focuses diverged. Golden shifted its attention to retail, VGM to fighting competitive bidding, Copley said.

“Everyone needed to pick something to be strong at and lead at,” he said. 

That dynamic has changed in the past few years, with Rob Baumhauver taking the helm of VGM’s Retail Services division and with the organization putting itself at the forefront of the movement by, among other things, adopting the term “caretailing,” Copley said.

Retail continues to be a major priority for VGM and an area where the company continues to invest, says Clint Geffert, president.

“HME providers must start shifting to non-reimbursable products to better balance sources of revenue,” he said. “Our partnership with Golden will do just that—providing VGM members new opportunity to focus on selling price, instead of reimbursement and acquisition.”

What sealed the deal: Golden and VGM hosted a pilot joint event in New Jersey last year that drew 70 providers, Copley said.

“As we were pulling this relationship together, it became clear we just needed to merge our efforts,” he said. 

“We need to be together and share ideas, and offer as much value as we can,” he added.