ROCKVILLE, Md. — The number of retail health clinics in the United States has increased by 38% to 2,215 since 2011, mostly as a result of expansion of the concept by major drug store chains, according to a new report from Kalorama Information.
The report forecasts that the concept’s financial success and the growing acceptance of clinics among consumers and the health care industry will spur continued growth to 2020, with an increasing proportion of the expansion occurring in venues that are not drug stores.
“The retail clinic concept has shown potential to provide affordable, accessible and quality medical care to consumers who otherwise would have to wait hours, days or even weeks for care,” Kalorama observed.
“These outlets were something of a novelty and maybe even a little scary to health care providers and state legislators when we started covering them a decade ago,” commented Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “Now there are a lot of people taking them seriously, starting of course with drug chains but also including hospital systems, pharmaceutical companies and IVD [in vitro diagnostics] test manufacturers.”
Carlson continued, “For drug stores, they make a lot of sense. They provide direct revenue and indirect revenue from customers who visited the store for the clinic, or stayed longer in the store because of it. There’s also a general branding advantage that you see in their strategy. The presence of a clinic is a way to have the consumer think of them as a trusted provider …. They are working in drug stores, and that means they have the potential to grow elsewhere as U.S. consumers get familiar with the idea.”
Indeed, major retailers including Walmart have begun to add retail clinics to their stores, the report indicated, as have some supermarket operators. Due to their high traffic volumes and large sizes, mass merchandisers are expected to charge relatively high rents compared with drug stores, according to the report, titled “Retail Clinics 2016: Growth of Clinics, Revenue Forecasts, Sales of IVD Products to Clinics, Customer Satisfaction and Other Trends.”
Kalorama Information, a division of MarketResearch.com, is a supplier of medical market research and custom services.