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Equipping medical supply retailers “Expertly fitted”

Issue 03/2021

From the first impression to an extended stay – whether a customer is comfortable in a store also depends on its design. The Bauerfeind Merchandising System therefore combines a modern looks with an appropriate product presentation and practicality to suit everyday use. The following current example demonstrates how this is implemented at a medical supply retail store.

“Welcome to our new premises,” says Sascha Gieseke, greeting us warmly. With an expansive gesture, the Branch Manager of Sanitätshaus Weinmann GmbH shows us the newly furnished store in Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany. “The checkout counter is right in the middle, facing the entrance. In front and to the left, right behind the display windows, is the area for over-the-counter sales items.” And pointing in the opposite direction: “At the back, we’ve now got our new waiting lounge.” Thanks to the large window facades, the floor with a wood finish and white shop fittings, the store looks light and inviting. “With the modern, timeless look of our retail space, a cozy waiting area and some digital elements, we’re creating a special shopping experience for our customers – a medical supply retailer 2.0, if you will,” Sascha Gieseke explains. To equip the store, Weinmann GmbH relied on the Bauerfeind Merchandising System – and with good reason: “We’ve been working closely with Bauerfeind for a long time. And we’ve previously also used Bauerfeind shop fittings to present the products in a suitable environment.” Aged 27, the young branch manager wants to keep up with the times and describes the increasing change of the industry – from a business purely based on prescriptions to a medical retailer wanting to create an attractive atmosphere for customers.

Modular solutions

The interior design of Sanitätshaus Weinmann GmbH in Kirchheim/Teck had aged in terms of looks and functionality, reports Branch Manager, Sascha Gieseke. In close cooperation with Bauerfeind, the medical retailer renewed the shop fittings at the beginning of the year.
The interior design of Sanitätshaus Weinmann GmbH in Kirchheim/Teck had aged in terms of looks and functionality, reports Branch Manager, Sascha Gieseke. In close cooperation with Bauerfeind, the medical retailer renewed the shop fittings at the beginning of the year.

“We don’t just supply medical products from Zeulenroda but also support our Quality Partners’ sales with the appropriate product presentation in their stores,” says Heiko Schneider, Marketing Manager Bauerfeind Merchandising System, explaining the philosophy behind the shop fitting program. This is another aspect where Bauerfeind relies on quality made in Germany – a subtle appearance, based on practical requirements and offering a modular configuration. The range includes elements for walls and the central space, some of which can be used on both sides. The concept also covers counters in which till systems can be integrated as well as storage elements. “Those are in high demand. After receiving market feedback, we considered the package dimensions in the design, so when you open the drawer, you can immediately see and take out the correct size.” Sascha Gieseke confirms this: “Storage was an issue for us, too.
Previously, our colleagues had to go to the storage area. Now a quick look in the drawer does the trick. At the same time, this fitting element can be used for product presentation, illustrating many aspects. The combination of both makes customer consultation so much easier!” The other elements are also specifically designed for use in a medical supply retail store: wall elements where the back can be used for store window presentation, places on the counters where customers can put down bags or rest walking sticks, giving the predominantly older customers more freedom to operate at the checkout – these are just some of the examples of the numerous adaptabilities of the units. When it comes to the appearance of the shop fittings, Bauerfeind has considered durability and relies on straight lines and high-quality surfaces in white. On the one hand, this creates an environment that puts the spotlight on Bauerfeind’s products. On the other hand, it means that these shop fittings can also be easily incorporated in existing interior designs. Different decorative elements can also be selected to suit.

Implementation supported by great partners

Oben Produktpräsentation, darunter Schubladen mit Stauraum: Die gewählte Einrichtung bedient ästhetische und praktische Ansprüche.
Product presentation on top, storage room below: The setup combines aesthetic and practical purposes.

For the implementation of a new store design, Bauerfeind offers its customers a comprehensive package. For the planning, manufacture and installation of the equipment, the company works closely with its partner OBV storedesign in Vreden. “We really appreciate their experience and high quality standards. Another advantage is that they are able to complement our standard products with custom solutions if needed, in cases of special room designs, for example, or by adding a platform for measuring during foot scans,” Heiko Schneider explains. Michel Esser, Certified Designer for Interior Architecture and Key Account Manager at OBV, responds: “It’s easy to plan with the Bauerfeind Merchandising System because of its modular setup. And the timeless, scaled-back look not only fits into any ambiance, but it will most likely still be current in several years.”

These were also influencing factors for Weinmann Managing Director, Jörg Weinmann, and Sascha Gieseke during their initial considerations. After ten years, it was time to update the premises in Kirchheim. On the one hand, the seven Weinmann branch stores in Baden-Wuerttemberg should display a consistent corporate identity. On the other hand, the design had to fit in with the local premises, which are prominently located on the first floor of a medical center with 36 physicians and the corresponding patient traffic. Additionally, the team looked for measures that would make processes more ergonomic and reduce distances for staff.

Ideas in 3D

The branch renovation only took two days, after Branch Manager, Sascha Gieseke (left), and Michael Esser from the Bauerfeind partner OBV, had discussed the implementation of the plans in detail.
The branch renovation only took two days, after Branch Manager, Sascha Gieseke (left), and Michael Esser from the Bauerfeind partner OBV, had discussed the implementation of the plans in detail.

Their own initial ideas were followed by contacting Bauerfeind – the project then gained momentum during a visit by Heiko Schneider and Michael Esser in Kirchheim with Jörg Weinmann and Sascha Gieseke. “At the beginning of a redesign, the first step is always to analyze the current situation,” explains Michael Esser: “What does the medical supply retailer currently look like? What are the expectations and requirements? Is there a layout plan we can use for our redesign? We have several pages of checklists that we use to work out the basis for an initial draft of ideas with the customer. It’s really helpful if the customer already has a rough idea of what they want.” What is also useful is an outsider perspective to discover new potential. Specifically in the Weinmann case, the question was whether it would make sense to relocate the checkout area. It is now situated right in the middle, easy to spot on entering, on the opposite side of the store. Its back has a satin-finished glass screen to comply with data protection requirements.

In its previous position, a waiting lounge was added instead. This had the positive effect that the measurement booths behind it are much more easily accessible now. In addition, the front display windows and the sales area needed to be used more efficiently. OBV illustrated these ideas in a 3D animation and refined them during several meetings. “This offers the customer a photorealistic, detailed preview of the end result before the implementation takes place,” says Michael Esser, explaining the advantages of the method. In general, he estimates around 20 weeks for a redesign, from first contact to entering the new premises, depending on the extent of the measures. Of course, renovation works on floors and walls or electrical fittings, for example for lighting or technical systems like screens, have to be included in the schedule. 

Creative transitional phase

To set up the new equipment at Weinmann, the OBV installers only needed two days. But for the critical renovation phase, Sascha Gieseke had to make a tough decision whether to completely close the store or not. A few tables to receive prescriptions and some products in front of the store, in the lobby of the building, provided the solution. This meant that customers could still be looked after like at a promotional booth, yet on a smaller scale. “Our customers were very understanding, and even curious. Work progressed speedily. That was also an indication that the store fitting was done by experts. This allowed us to get back to business as usual quickly,” says the branch manager, who measures the success of the renovation project on two specific aspects: “On the one hand, we’re getting very good feedback from our customers. They are thrilled by the new look, they say that they feel comfortable and stay in the store for noticeably longer. On the other hand, our employees also benefit quite clearly from the shorter journeys.”

Further information

Further information about the Bauerfeind Merchandising System can be obtained from Marketing Manager Heiko Schneider. Phone: +49 (0)36628-66-1642, e-mail: heiko.schneider@bauerfeind.com

Images: Udo Schönewald

 


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