WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Fitness and nutrition programs have been core parts of employer-based wellness programs before, including the ones Take Care operates for such employers as Harrah's Casinos. But, by taking an ownership position in the company that provides the fitness offering, Walgreens/Take Care has the opportunity to look for creative ways to bring new wellness-type programs to its stores through its retail clinics, perhaps even as part of a larger weight-loss management program. For example, RediClinic recently announced a new weight-loss program, Weigh Forward, which it offers in H-E-B stores.
(THE NEWS: Take Care to offer Core Performance wellness services to employer clients. For the full story, click here.)
And beyond just improving health outcomes, this is an opportunity for community pharmacy/retail clinics to build new relationships to customers and patients that keep them coming back to the store/clinic even when they are not sick. It could help expand the paradigm from sick care to well care and help build community. For instance, Nike stores, such as the one in Boston, host "running clubs" that keep people connected to the store. It's not just a place to buy sneakers, it's a part of their lives.
These kinds of programs don't just drive customer loyalty; they also make customers rabid fans of your brand. Just think about Nike. People pay big money for Nike apparel just for the chance to be a human billboard to advertise their love of the brand.
So, a fitness club in a drug store/retail clinic? In the immortal words of Nike, DSN says: "Just do it."