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Ability Center folds into United Access

Ability Center folds into United Access ‘Let’s be honest, we’re all wearing the same T-shirt, which is BraunAbility Arch Retail’

Chad BlakeST. LOUIS – In a process that has been years in the making, Ability Center has decided to rebrand its 18 locations to United Access and will spend much of 2023 transitioning its website and storefronts to that name. 

The two companies were both acquired by BraunAbility Arch Retail in 2017 and 2018, respectively. 

“We had about 15 stores before we sold,” said Chad Blake, senior vice president of sales and store operations for United Access and former president of Ability Center. “At that time, we had multiple brands that we narrowed down to two, and so now we’re on the journey of consolidating to one. That’s the big picture.” 

With Ability Center, United Access increases its number of locations to 50 and solidifies its presence on the West Coast. 

While all businesses acquired under the BraunAbility Arch Retail umbrella have different strengths, Ability Center has made a name for itself with its diversification of solutions, including home accessibility; process discipline; and strong financial acumen, says John Beering, president of United Access. 

“It was a very well-run business, where a majority of their stores were profitable,” he said. “They were able to create cash that could be reinvested in these businesses to help keep improving the customer experience.” 

To facilitate the integration, team leaders have been assigned to oversee operations across Ability Center and United Access. For example, a regional vice president would manage two United Access stores and two Ability Center stores in the same market. 

“What was originally, probably, a competitive situation—us versus them—that fell away,” said Blake. “When we talk about the two brands, let’s be honest, we’re all wearing the same T-shirt, which is BraunAbility Arch Retail.”


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