Spin retail 180 degrees

Medtrade Spring preview
Friday, February 14, 2014

LAS VEGAS – Sue Chen spends more than half of each year on the road, visiting providers to preach the gospel of HME retail.

But Chen isn’t a retail consultant; she’s the CEO of Nova Medical Products, a Calif.-based manufacturer of mobility, bath safety and independent living products, and an enthusiastic advocate of retail’s potential for her provider customers.

The retail “transformations” she says she’s provided for more than 1,000 providers nationwide will fuel her Medtrade Spring session titled “Give Your Store an HME 180!” Here’s an advance look.

HME News: What’s the process you go through with providers?

Sue Chen: We start with a self-assessment to determine if your store is a great place to shop. From the assessment, we’re able to create a checklist of steps for in and out of the store. We break down a budget by staff time and actual dollars. They walk away with an actual plan to implement retail.

HME: How good of a job do you think providers are doing in retail now?

Chen: There’s probably not another industry that’s as sadly shopped as ours. You’re working hard, but your mindset is focused on that Medicare fight. Your store is often reflective of the depressing attitude of our industry. When I ask providers whether their wives would be excited to shop here, 99% of them say no.

HME: What’s most lacking in the HME retail environment?

Chen: Assortment. Providers are complaining about losing sales to the Internet, but more than 75% of HME sales are made online because the consumer couldn’t find it locally. Second is the store environment. Your customer is afraid, concerned; their loved ones are sick. When they walk in, are they going to get a Nordstrom’s experience or a BMV experience?

HME: What’s holding providers back from successful retail?

Chen: There’s a massive disconnect between the people serving the customer and those running the business. That’s different from traditional retail, where managers are in front of customers in the store. It’s making a mental shift to get yourself out of the trenches and into the store.

Sue Chen

CEO, Nova Medical Products

Manufacturer of mobility, bath safety and independent living products

“Give Your Store an HME 180! Marketing Inside and Out … That Works”

Wed., Mar. 12, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Contact: 310-352-3600 / suec@novaorthomed.com