Reports: Kroger to expand Little Clinic footprint as part of healthcare play

NEW YORK — As the implementation of healthcare reform looms, Kroger is sharpening its focus on health care by not only stocking its shelves with healthier food options but also is gearing up to add 50 Little Clinic locations next year, according to published reports.

According to a Memphis Daily News report, Kroger is planning to open as many 50 Little Clinic locations next year. There are currently about 106 clinic locations and, by the end of 2013, the company looks to have nearly 120 clinics across six states.

Aside from expanding its footprint, the clinic operator also is revamping its clinics with updated facilities, the report states. The new clinics include two exam rooms, a private waiting area and an electronic registration kiosk.

“Now they really look like a little doctor’s office inside the store,” Ken Patric, chief medical officer for The Little Clinic, was quoted as saying. “They are permanently built in and are much quieter.”

But the company’s healthcare play doesn’t stop there. In a presentation to analysts in New York on Oct. 30, Robert Clark, group VP nonperishables, said that, based on consumer insights gained through its market research partnership with Dunnhumby USA, the company has been investing in healthier food options, according to a WCPO Cincinnati report.

“When we talk to customers, they’re telling us one of their top concerns is around health care,” Clark was quoted as telling analysts. “Health and wellness is dominating their life. It’s in the media every day. The benefits we all have are under fire, and they’re looking for solutions.”

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