By Hannah Ash, contributing writer
Target Clinic is moving into Texas. Currently, the concept operates over 70 in-store quick-service health care clinics located in Target stores in the following states: Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Virginia. The first Target Clinic opened in 2006. Target is planning to introduce 8 new in-store clinics to the Dallas market this fall; this expansion into Texas coincides with Rite Aid’s recent acquisition of Houston-based health clinic chain RediClinic. As retailers scramble to add services such as tetanus vaccinations and sports physicals to their product lines, they are, potentially, changing the future of healthcare in this country.
Target Clinics offer patients over 60 services from which to choose; options range from cosmetic consultations to treatment for urinary tract infections. According to the website’s menu of services, most options are priced at $75; Target Clinics accept most health insurances, traditional payment methods, and Target Gift Cards. With its clinics staffed by nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, the website promises patients, “same-day care, one-stop convenience.” Derek Graham, manager of one of the Texas Target stores slated for a clinic, stated, “we’re hoping the clinics will increase store traffic and build loyalty.”
As both Rite Aid and Target plan to expand into Texas, it is clear that the retail-based health care clinic is in demand. CVS offers a similar format, the MinuteClinic; in October of 2013, chief medical officer for CVS Andy Sussman announced CVS plans to increase the number of MinuteClinics from the current 770 to over 1500 in the next four years. Sussman commented, “we face a profound shortage of primary care physicians. In many of our markets, nearly half of patients don’t have a physician.” A report by Trefis showed that retail clinics help retailers in three ways: boosting prescription sales, boosting pharmacy benefit management and boosting sales of over the counter items such as bandages and pain relievers. For consumers, retail clinics fill a need for fast, reliable health care. As retailers continue to enter into the world of healthcare, omni-channel health care is not a far-off concept; patients will be able to shop while they wait and perhaps, have their OTC and prescription purchases filled before they check out.