Cash sales has become a business imperative for providers seeking to insulate themselves from the ravages of competitive bidding and other funding cuts by tapping into new revenue streams. And with that comes some new challenges, one of them being how to draw customers to the retail showroom and convince them to buy non-funded items, even if they are not priced in the “impulse buy” range.
The Serta Perfect Lift Chair incorporates Serta’s Cool Action gel memory foam, which in addition to adding individualized comfort for the user, provides additional cooling and support.
A lot of that comes down to confidence. Retail customers want a brand that they feel familiar with. But at the same time, providers need to know that the products they are offering are going to meet the quality standards they expect from their traditional vendors of durable medical equipment.
It’s a dilemma, but it’s a dilemma that has had a positive outcome for manufacturer Pride Mobility Products Corp. The maker of power mobility solutions, auto access and lift chairs, Pride recently teamed up with household name mattress maker Serta to offer the new Serta Perfect Lift Chair.
“As the market has changed, we looked for opportunities to reinvent some of the things offered in the industry,” said Cy Corgan, Pride Mobility’s director of corporate sales. “How can we bring value to the HME industry far beyond what we had?”
The thought was that if Pride could bring a “true” retail name that was extremely well known into the industry. Ultimately, it sought out Serta, which after some research and due diligence on Pride, decided a joint effort between the companies could yield good results, Corgan recalls.
“We started putting together a plan that said, ‘Let’s look at this as a different selling philosophy,’” he explains. “We weren’t going to just build and deliver a new chair to the market, but we were going to deliver a program that really gets the dealers involved in the retail mentality.”
And so the result wasn’t just a chair, but the tools that can help providers dive into retail market and advertising, as well as retail sales. Instead of operating in a “destination retail” capacity, where customers come to a provider because the provider is where they can get any lift chair, now clients will be coming to the provider specifically seeking the Serta Perfect Lift Chair.
“We want to get the dealer thinking about getting the person in the showroom,” Corgan says, adding Pride will support their efforts to advertise and drive awareness. “We’re going to give them all the ad slicks, all the advertising materials, so that all they have to do is put their name on it, give it to the local newspaper, and start saying that they are the Serta Perfect Lift Chair dealer in their marketplace.”
The two companies are working concert to develop various ad materials in support of the chair. Given Serta’s leadership position in the mattress industry and its household name status, that joint effort should come as good news to interested providers, Corgan notes.
As a chair, the Serta Perfect Lift Chair offers a number of attractive features, starting with Serta’s Cool Action gel memory foam. This foam isn’t just comfortable; it provides additional cooling and support for the chair user. That foam is part of a support construction that also includes wrapped coil springs to provide balanced seating with greater longevity than traditional foam bases; as well as Pirelli webbing that forms to users’ backs for individualized comfort.
To further increase durability, more hardwood was used in the chair, particularly in high-stress areas. Also, the hardwood enhances the way the chair feels to the user, giving it a more solid, confident feel. The chair is currently available as versions of Pride’s two most popular lift chair configurations, which for the Perfect Lift Chair are being referred to as the Serta 525 and Serta 358. The latter is more casual and traditional looking, while the former is more contemporary. In terms of color, the Perfect Fabric Collection offers five options: timber, ember, deep sky, field and oat.
“Those are our two best-selling models,” Corgan says. “But we’re going to be adding more models. … I’m sure we’re going to have new designs beyond what we carry; some new back styles, some new designs, that we can bring to the marketplace.”
In that regard, Pride is already looking at the “Serta 2.0,” the next effort to enhance the chair’s feature set, he explains.
“We’re already in conversations with Serta about what else we can do to enhance the chair,” Corgan says. “We already some ideas on the table that we’re looking to deliver by the end of the year, or certainly by spring.”
Serta Perfect Lift Chair
Pride Mobility Products Corp.