Retail Medical Clinic Locations Up 38% in Past Five Years

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — There’s been a big increase in the number of clinics within retail locations since 2011, according to Kalorama Information.  Retail clinic locations have expanded from 1,605 to 2,215 in the United States between 2011 and 2016, mostly the result of expansion by major drugstore chains.  The finding was made in Kalorama Information’s most recent report – Retail Clinics 2016.  Kalorama reports on retail clinics in some form every year and its latest full-length market research study is available at

“These outlets were something of a novelty and maybe even a little scary to healthcare providers and state legislators when we started covering them a decade ago,” said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information.  ‘Now there’s a lot of people taking them seriously, starting of course with drug chains but also including hospital systems, pharma cos and IVD test manufacturers.”

Retail clinics are medical clinics located within a retail place.  They differ from urgent care centers as they are not free-standing and don’t offer all of the services those venues offer.  Other characteristics of retail clinics include low cost services enabled by high throughput and cost containment, sizes of 150 to 500 square feet, high transparency of pricing, with rates often prominently displayed, staffing by nurses or nurse practitioners; increasingly accept payment through insurance as well as by cash, check or credit card broad purchasing power across many locations.

“For drug stores they make a lot of sense,” said Carlson. “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.”

As retail clinics are by nature designed to occupy small spaces and provide just basic care, they do not use most of the sophisticated medical equipment found in hospitals or specialty centers such as advanced imaging devices. However, retail clinics are becoming relatively large users of point-of-care (POC) tests, clinical chemistry and immunoassay laboratory tests and vaccines.   Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of these products are sold in retail clinics, according to Kalorama Information’s report. (the report provide specific market sizing and forecasts for these categories.)

While drug stores like CVS and Walgreens will continue to represent the majority of all retail clinic locations by 2020, Kalorama suggests a rising number of clinics will be located at these other facilities as the retail health care concept is embraced by a growing number of stores.  As this occurs, mass merchandisers and supermarkets will garner a larger proportion of total retail clinic rents. Due to their high traffic volumes and large sizes, mass merchandisers are expected to charge relatively high rents compared with drug stores. This, combined with steady expansion of retail clinics throughout mass stores such as Walmart and Target, will result in strong increases in clinic rents.    

“They are working in drug stores, and that means they have the potential to grow elsewhere as US consumers get familiar with the idea,” Carlson said

Kalorama Information’s report, Retail Clinics 2016, contains detailed forecasts of the market, as well as projections, clinic trends and consumer surveys.  The report is available on Kalorama Information’s website

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About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama’s website and are also available on and

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