Retail spurs growth at AZ MediQuip

Provider has increased retail sales by 1,500% since 2011
Friday, June 29, 2018

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – AZ MediQuip recently moved its Scottsdale store one-quarter mile down the road, growing its showroom from 2,500 to 3,700 square feet, and its warehouse from 2,000 to a whopping 13,000 square feet.  

“We were in an office building-type of structure and now we’re right in the middle of a strip mall with a lot of big-box retailers,” said Mark Nicotera, owner. “The walk-by traffic has picked up tremendously.”

That’s not the only thing that’s picked up. When Nicotera bought the company in 2011, 95% of its revenue came from Medicare. Within the first year he grew the retail business to almost 30%. Since then, the company has increased its retail sales by 1,500%.

“They had a small store,” said Nicotera. “It was 500 square feet at the time and I worked with that. Within a few months I decided to put a lift chair in the store and it sold. We went from one to two and continued from there.”

Now the company stocks 20 to 24 lift chairs in each of its Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler and Peoria, Ariz., locations.

Founded in 1992 as G&S Medical Services, AZ MediQuip offers a full range of DME, including aids to daily living, compression, mobility, CPAP, oxygen, compression, orthotics and pain management products.

AZ MediQuip shifted to a cash-only business model in July 2014, when the competitive bidding program rolled out to the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area.

“Even though I hadn’t been in the business a long time I was afraid,” said Nicotera. “Reimbursement is the cornerstone of the HME business—or at least it was—so giving that up was done with a fair amount of anxiety.”

While there’s no dearth of competition from online retailers and big-box stores, providers can level the playing field by working with vendors that have minimum advertised price programs, employing the good, better, best pricing strategy, and offering a variety of products that people can take home that day, says Nicotera.

“I know that if we can get a customer into our store that we can compete for their business and in most cases win,” he said.