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VGM's Maria Markusen takes retail on the road

VGM's Maria Markusen takes retail on the road

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group is taking its new series, “Brick by brick: Retail learning workshop”—which explores the three core areas of retail: product, experience, and marketing—to 10 cities this year.

Here's what speaker Maria Markusen, director of operations & development for VGM Retail Services, had to say about how the game plan for a successful retain business has evolved.

HME News: VGM started the retail roadshow in 2015. How has the workshop changed over time?

Maria Markusen: When I first entered the industry people really wanted to know how to redesign their stores to create a retail environment. Then people asked, “What products do I need to offer to the customers that I already have?” The next iteration was, “How do I get customers I don't have into my store?” This workshop is going to take it one step further by showing you how to strategize your marketing so that you can make retail a viable business model, as opposed to an add on to your existing business.

HME: What are providers doing in retail now?

Markusen: A lot of providers do the first thing they should, which is asking who their core customers are, what they are buying, and how to get them to grow their average ticket by adding things that they need that are not reimbursed by insurance—the cash things.

HME: What can providers do to improve their retail business?

Markusen: A lot of times I walk into a store and I don't see enough products. The second thing is a lot of people don't segment their market and try to figure out what they could do differently from someone else.

HME: If attendees leave the workshop learning one thing, what should it be?

Markusen: That retail is not as mysterious as it might seem, but you can't just set it up, hope people show up and be successful. You have to track your data points daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, and readjust your behavior accordingly to be successful.


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