Walgreens embarked on a new, comprehensive store rebranding initiative in the end of 2011. At that time, the health & beauty retailer operated a little more than 350 retail clinics in its stores, with the goal of being able to provide lower-cost medical care and treatment to its customers than is available through primary care physicians.
This is Part II of an ongoing analysis of the retail clinic models across the globe. To see all of our retail clinic breakdowns you can click on the Retail Clinic trend in the right column.
Walgreens’ in-store clinic is operated by third party provider Take Care Clinic. The retail clinics, which welcome walk-in patients as well as those with appointments, provide treatments for common ailments like the flu, step throat, bronchitis, sinus infections, rashes, as well as routine health screenings, vaccines, and physicals. Interestingly, Walgreens also offers urine and blood testing in-store.
Quelling Some Concerns
Some consumers see retail clinics as a potential health hazard, as it would seem that the nurse practitioners and physicians that staff the clinic would over-prescribe in order to increase sales at the pharmacy adjacent to the clinic. Walgreens, however, heavily advertises the fact that “Take Care Health Services , [is] an independently owned professional corporation whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by or agents of Walgreen Co., or its subsidiaries, including Take Care Health Systems , LLC.” Also, while Walgreens is hoping to use their clinics to turn the Walgreens store experience into a one-stop-shop, the prescriptions that are prescribed by the nurses can be filled at any pharmacy. They do not necessarily need to be filled at this health & beauty retailer’s pharmacy adjacent to the clinic.
The Take Care clinic also advertises that all health records are sent to your primary care physician upon completion of any testing or treatment performed by the nurse practitioners in-store.
How the Take Care Clinic Experience Works?
Walgreens store re-branding initiative is centered on the fulfillment of two goals: (1) owning the relationship on health & wellness as more and more retailers (for example: Whole Foods, Walmart, and Kroger) roll out strategies to meet the growing demand for these services; and (2) bringing the convenience of a one-stop-shop to its customers in the form of quality health care, access to prescription drugs, OTC pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and even ready-to-eat food and fresh produce! Parents of more than 2-3 children will find that the convenience of having this quality health care available at their local store trumps the alternative of visiting a primary care physician’s office when a child is sick. (See Walgreens’ Marketing Video Below)
(Clients Only) For a higher view of the role of clinics in retail, download the Retail Health Services PPT slides summarizing the goals and strategies from RetailNet Group’s corporate website.
(Public Access) To see an abbreviated, top-line view of the current state of Retail Clinics, read one of my earlier posts:
- Retail Clinics: Retailers Leveraging In-Store Services
- Retail Clinics in Canada Despite Social Medicine