Caretailing and Complex Retail is a Match for Cash Opportunities – Explore Retail Options for the CR Dealer

Posted on in Growth Strategies, Diversify

By: Jim Greatorex, VGM Retail Services

Retail, or the new industry term “caretailing,” and the complex rehab provider are as natural a match as chocolate and peanut butter, Dagwood and Blondie, mustard and relish, and ATPs and the ISS. Okay, so I seem to be a little obsessed with food, but I know both of these venues well. In my previous life as president of a complex rehab company, we were able to build a very vibrant and profitable retail division that grew to become 30 percent of our annual revenue. I want to explain why retail is only going to grow and then expose you to some new products and companies that would provide you with great opportunities to work with some progressive manufacturers.

Whether you have a showroom or not, in our industry it is imperative to market to our clients' cash options to better their lives. The first comment I hear when speaking with many complex rehab providers is that none of our clients have any money. While in many instances clients themselves may be short on disposable income, almost all are surrounded by caregivers, family and clinical professionals who may have some. Assuming everyone has no money means that you will never discover that if you offered great cash products to folks, they might actually buy some. In my previous company, I was never secure in trusting my company’s success to an over-reliance on any third-party payer, especially government payers. In my 34 years of working at or owning a company, we have always had a front showroom and always had people buying great, non-covered products when they were made aware of them. So, because this happened in Maine, which has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the country, it can and will happen in your market, also.

So, now that we have that settled, let’s take a look at why the complex rehab company is a natural at providing retail products. Complex rehab is the one segment of the homecare industry that already has the mindset and custom of buying and selling products. All the other dominant segments of the industry only rent items and are not wired for the act of showing and selling products to the consumer. Educating consumers about products they need and helping them pick out the ones that will work best for them is what happens every day in the complex rehab world; it’s also what happens every day in the retail world, only with a half a tree of paperwork less! Complex rehab clients are always asking for extra items and paying for them, so retail transactions are already a common occurrence. 

We could also share with you the retail opportunity that baby boomers alone present, but that can wait for next time. Rest assured it’s the biggest market of people ever with income to spend!

It’s time to take a look at some great retail stuff! For the purpose of this article, we are going to assume that most of you are already selling many of the great accessibility and mobility products that meet our customers’ needs. So, let’s take a look at four product lines that are great opportunities for the complex rehab company and that will fit into the health care landscape.

With the new working relationship VGM and Golden Technologies have, we feel we have the ability to market the premiere home comfort and independence products available to the retail consumer. Top of the line seat lift chairs in sizes, styles and price ranges to meet all needs and sleek, stylish scooters and power wheelchairs have us in great anticipation of what they bring us next. With Golden and VGM Retail, we have the most experienced folks available to help any VGM and/or US Rehab Member have a successful retail program.

Another great addition to your showroom and offerings are the home mobility chairs from Comfort Tek. These chairs allow a consumer to be sitting in a comfortable, durable chair that can easily be pushed into the table or wherever the family is gathered. Comfort Tek also offers dual-height tables so people can sit together no matter what height works best for them. Successful caretailers display their swivel Titan chair along with a dual-height table, a banner and a looping video, which demonstrates the product’s use. This practice has shown a consistent interest and product sales. You can also show this line to assisted living centers, nursing homes, churches and where ever people of age meet. Baby boomers hate to be called “seniors!”


The hottest and one of the fastest-growing product categories is pain management. We have two great product lines that offer life-changing solutions at very affordable prices. Topricin is a “proven to work” pain-relief cream that has a formula that penetrates into the cellular level to help the body heal itself; it’s also a very effective skin cream. This great company has leaders that never want cost to stand in the way of effective pain relief, and they do much to help the veteran community and the low-income folks. 

Another great pain product is the Incrediwear line. They manufacture element-infused ankle, foot, knee, elbow, neck and wrist sleeves. These products are used by chronic pain sufferers, weekend warriors, everyday actives and professional athletes alike. The NBA champion Golden State Warriors are just one of many pro teams that have benefitted from Incrediwear products.

Another great new line of products for the mobility client is from Grip Solutions. They have several innovative products made from a new, stocky, durable fabric. They have several solutions to help your wheelchair customers gain greater independence and freedom.

Here are few other great product lines that could sell very well in a mobility showroom:

Cast Coverz  - Stylish mobility accessories

EZ Access - Accessibility products

Frozen Peas - Innovative hot/cold products

Helping Hands  - Reachers, hip kits and other ADL-related devices in great packaging

Orthosleeve - Compression pain relief for feet and wrists

Nufoot  - New-wave gripper footwear with universal use

Bio Medical Life Systems - Great OTC TENS products

VGM Retail is ready to help any VGM and/or US Rehab Member looking to start or grow a retail program. For more information, please contact us via email or phone at 1-855-235-3300.