Walmart, which reports earnings on Tuesday, recently opened a second freestanding health clinic in Georgia next to one of its supercenters.
Customers can see a doctor for routine visits, in addition to urgent care, x-rays, labs, counseling, dental care and eye exams.
Health care is expensive, and retailers like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens see that as an opportunity.
“[Health care] is difficult to access and that doesn’t seem to be getting solved very rapidly within the health care industry,” said Joel Rampoldt, a managing director at Alix Partners.
“A lot of folks in retail are saying, ‘Hey, we have stores close to where people are, we have a proven ability to deliver goods and services in a highly efficient manner, and this sounds like something that we’d be good at,'” he said.
Walmart is promising transparent and low pricing at these new clinics, whether or not customers have insurance.
But there is a challenge here for any retailer, according to Timothy Campbell, director of retail insights at Kantar.
“Do you really want to go to a retail store to [for] your health care? You’re not necessarily looking for a bargain buy. Your quality and your life is your most important thing,” Campbell said.
But he says it seems like Walmart designed the new clinics with that in mind. They have separate entrances and they look like doctor’s offices, not Walmart supercenters.
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