Shoprider eyes larger stage

Sunday, May 31, 2009

CARSON, Calif.--Shoprider’s no longer content to be pigeonholed as a manufacturer of power wheelchairs and scooters.

This spring the company debuted a consumer finance program designed to help providers boost sales and increase their cash flow. It also moved to broaden its product line by signing a distribution agreement with Harmar Mobility, a maker of home and vehicle lifts. Harmar’s inventory of van lifts, ramps, stair lifts and other products meshes nicely with Shoprider scooters and power chairs, said John Wright.

“You can sell Mrs. Jones a power chair and leave, or you could say, ‘By the way Mrs. Jones, how are you going to transport that chair once you get it?’” said Wright, who joined Shoprider as a consultant last fall after working 26 years at Invacare, most recently as an area vice president.

Shoprider’s new consumer Platinum Financing Program helps make those add-on sales more affordble. The program allows customers to borrow from $300 to $12,000 and repay it over a time frame that fits their budget. Repayment terms range from 24 to 60 months, and the interest rate depends on the customer’s credit worthiness, Wright said.

In addition to add-on sales, which could include anything from bath-safety products to a portable oxygen concentrator, the finance program can be used to help customers pay for product upgrades, co-pays and other expenses not covered by insurance. The key requirement: transactions must include a Shoprider or Harmar product, Wright said.

“Typically, the provider will receive their money in a little more than a week,” he said. “It will be fantastic for their cash flow.”