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Relax The Back
A Mainstay In The Health and Wellness Category
by Beverly Dykes
As the nation’s population ages, more and more people are looking for ways to maintain a healthy, pain free lifestyle well into their retirement years. Back pain affects an estimated eight out of ten people, resulting in lost productivity and negatively impacting their quality of life. Relax The Back aims to provide products and solutions to this growing epidemic, while simultaneously gaining market share in the health and wellness category of retailing, currently estimated at $112 trillion and growing. The merchandise promoted at Relax The Back stores is the highest quality on the market, and its offering of stress relieving benefits have resulted in development of customer relationships that last a lifetime.
Throughout its 30-year history, Relax The Back has been able to positively impact the lives of its target customer base of adult clients ranging in age from 35 to 75 years old, who are seeking to relieve stress and achieve comfort in their daily settings of work and home. As the body ages, it becomes increasingly susceptible to back pain. Relax The Back is the most significant retailer serving this niche market via a process of client assessment, education and customization aimed at helping them regain their vitality.
The goal at Relax The Back stores is to have customers experience improved living and the absence of pain via the purchase of innovative products approved by the medical community and tailored to clients’ individual needs. Highly trained experts in the field of pain relief are on hand to consult one-on-one with customers to determine solutions to their discomfort. The company’s product consultants are able to educate customers on the most common back and neck issues and their causes, as well as demonstrate related merchandise, so the customer can feel how the products work prior to making a purchase decision. Recognizing there is typically no single solution for all that ails, Relax The Back allows for customization to the degree that various products’ features and settings can be incorporated to better suit a specific setting, situation or style preference (the customization extends even to the choice of wood finish and fabric options on furniture purchases).
Having grown from just a single retail location opened in 1984 into a 100+ unit presence in the marketplace today, Relax The Back has a proven track record of sales, customer satisfaction and growth. For relief and prevention of neck and back pain, its customers generally seek posture and support related products and self-care solutions that incorporate the most technologically advanced, medically driven solutions presently available. Relax The Back stores offer premium products and trained associates who are confident in informing consumers on how they can get the most out the products the stores sell. The sales staff attends rigorous training programs on posture, ergonomics, and self-care that ensure they will be able to answer the full gamut of questions and concerns they might encounter from customers. This commitment to education is at the heart of what has made the company into a leading nationwide franchise that is known for showcasing the utmost selection of products related to ergonomic care.
The company regards its popularity and reputation among consumers as reflective of their insistence on quality, service and integrity. As a specialty health care retailer, the stores feature merchandise grouped under the categories of sleep, office, fitness & therapy, back & lumbar support, and massage & recliners. Many of the products are made exclusively for Relax The Back and can be found only at its stores. The health care industry has also embraced the concept, as evidenced by the multitude of doctors, nurses and other medical care professionals in the surrounding communities that have formed mutually beneficial collaborations with the company‘s stores.
Additional elements of Relax The Backs point of differentiation in the marketplace include its high degree of franchisee support and training in all facets of the business, a proprietary marketing program that works in conjunction with the local medical community to drive business into the stores, expert real estate and merchandising support for franchisees, and a proven six-step sales process that has as its focus to build a solid relationship with customers in assisting them in preventing and alleviating back and neck pain. Owing to its comprehensive collection of furniture and accessories geared toward helping people live more fulfilled lives, Relax The Back has improved people’s ability to work as well as relax.
As of this writing, the chain numbered approximately 104 stores operating in 31 of the United States plus Canada. A regional real estate manager is assigned to guide franchise operators through the site selection and lease negotiation process, including onsite real estate visits to tour the market under consideration. The concept typically seeks to occupy urban and suburban locations characterized by strong residential and daytime populations (150,000 people within a 5 mile radius), reporting mid to high income levels (a median HH income of $75,000+ is preferred). The target customer is 35+ years of age. The concept seeks to occupy 2,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. of end cap or in-line space in upscale shopping centers featuring strong regional draw co-tenants (such as Whole Foods, P.F. Chang’s, REI, etc.). A minimum frontage of 25 feet is required. Preference is for head-in, storefront parking at grade level, traffic counts in excess of 25,000 cars per day, and excellent visibility and access. The typical lease commitment is for 5 years with one or two 5 year options. Lease terms will include the building exterior providing for maximum allowable signage, and an exclusive on the right to sell Tempur-Pedic brand products.
Conditions are in place for this retailers continued success, taking into consideration that people are living longer and are increasingly concerned about future loss of wages and productivity. Another contributing factor is the recent health care legislation that is forcing Americans to become more focused on preventive healthcare. Relax The Back is in a unique position of having no direct competitor that can offer a comparable combination of a professional array of sleep, office, massage, relaxation, travel and fitness products, as well as knowledgeable, trained sales staff having the ability and expertise to recommend the ideal product solutions for clients’ comfort and relief needs.
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