How may I heal you today?

Rachel Dornhelm Feb 8, 2008


Scott Jagow: Somewhere in the Wal-Mart marketing manual, there must be a line that says: Make the news every day. Lord knows, Wal-Mart sends out a press release about something at least once a day.

And sometimes, we bite. Wal-Mart is doing a lot of new things. It just announced its getting into health clinics in a big way. We decided to check that one out. Here’s Rachel Dornhelm.

Rachel Dornhelm: The retail giant plans to open 400 health care clinics in its stores within the next two years. They’ll carry the brand “Clinic at Wal-Mart.”

But Wal-Mart executive John Agwunobi says they’ll also carry the name of a local partner, like an established hospital.

John Agwunobi: We believe strongly that these clinics should be a part of the local health care infrastructure that people have come to rely upon.

Analysts says these clinics can take a few years to recover start up costs. But Wal-Mart is just leasing the clinic space out.

And industry researcher Bruce Carlson says they have a lot to gain:

Bruce Carlson: The retail clinic, being in that store, contributes revenues to the Wal-Mart.

Lots of revenue. Carlson says retail clinics will bring their host stores over $100 million dollars in additional sales this year.

And he says the local health partners also win — they get free advertising. At a time when hospitals are scrambling to keep in the black, this could be a gateway for patients to enter their system.

I’m Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.