Retail Clinics Growing in Popularity
Retail clinics, particularly those in drugstores, are catching
on with American consumers. That’s the conclusion of Kalorama Information,
a research firm specializing in the healthcare market.
According to Kalorama
estimates, sales from U.S. retail clinics hit $733.4 million in 2010 with the
majority coming from those in CVS, Walgreens and other drugstores. Clinics
in pharmacies currently represent 81 percent of the 1,344 operating in retail
"Clinics have worked in a variety of situations, but over the past few
years we’ve seen more clinics open in drug store locations than in mass merchandise
or food stores," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama, in a press
logical in terms of one stop-shopping, because the drug store visitor is already
a consumer with healthcare on his or her mind."
While the channel has grown
in popularity with consumers, opposition from physician groups and their allies
in various state legislatures has slowed the pace of new clinic openings. Even
with opposition, most of the more restrictive measures, such as requiring clinics
to notify a patient’s doctor after a visit,
have failed to pass.
CVS and Walgreens have been the most aggressive in pursuing
new clinics in stores. Kalorama’s Carlson believes that the growth in
the drug channel also may be due to the two largest players having skin in
"We still expect the concept to continue to be attempted in all locales,
particularly by Walmart and other mass merchandisers," said Mr. Carlson. "But
in these stores, the clinics are often third-parties and one of many attractions
in the store, while in drugstores they are critical to the operation."
- Retail Clinics Most Successful in Drug Stores: Kalorama – Kalorama Information
- Retail Clinics Prosper Despite Economic, Regulatory Hurdles – Kalorama Information
Discussion Questions: Do you see continued growth ahead for retail clinics? Will drugstores continue to dominate in this area or do you see others entering the game in such a way as to shift the balance of power?