WOBURN (CBS) – A Massachusetts company is working to change retail and give businesses more options. Now they're turning their attention to health care amid the COVID pandemic.
In a small warehouse in Woburn, Joel Kamm is busy building what looks like tiny home. But as the name Flexetail suggests, they are putting the flexibility in retail.
"We felt that the system that was in place for brick and mortar retail had to change," said Kamm.
Kamm builds the durable mobile units to use as pop-up retail shops that can be set-up anywhere for a day, a week or longer.
Flexetail has worked with national brands like DHL, which is planning package drop-offs at Assembly Square in Somerville, and smaller local companies who are using these trailers to introduce their brands to customers without the investment of a brick and mortar store.
The Boston Bruins have sold gear from one of these units, along with Rent the Runway and local activewear company Booty by Brabants.
"You can use this to bring your product out to your customers versus having customers come to you," Kamm said. "You can actually go to your customers."
It's an idea that also works in health care, particularly in a pandemic when some people are afraid to go a hospital.
"What mobile programs have allowed us to do is to flip this model of 'The doctor will see you now' to 'Actually, the patient will see us,'" said Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. Elsie Tavares.
Tavares works with the Kraft Center for Community Health and they have commissioned a trailer to bring health care into underserved communities. The unit is set up as an exam room.
The original goal was to bring addiction services to neighborhoods around the city of Brockton, but Tavares expects the unit to be pressed into service for coronavirus care.
"It can easily be used for vaccine delivery," Tavares said.
The trailer has a sophisticated hydraulic system lift system to give it extra stability. It's expected to roll out of the warehouse sometime in February.
"I'm excited to see it and I'm hoping it will inspire other organizations to think about a trailer or mobile approach for a whole host of COVID and non-COVID related care," Tavares said.
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