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Survey: Drug stores driving retail clinic growth
NEW YORK — The signs for the retail clinic industry remain positive and conservative but steady growth in the number of clinics is expected to continue as drug stores play an essential role in the segment, according to new research from healthcare market researcher Kalorama Information.
In recent years, as a result of the economic downturn, retail clinic growth had been at a standstill, but 2013-14 was a year of opportunities, as the number of retail clinics reached nearly 1,600, stated Kalorama Information in its report, Retail Clinics Market Overview and 2014 Consumer Survey Results.
"For drug store clinics it's now an essential part of strategy. So growth has been most evident in drug store clinics, particularly CVS," stated Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "Drug store clinics can operate retail clinics because they have the potential to keep customers longer and bring in additional sales from customers visiting the clinic that day."
Kalorama pointed to CVS as the leader in retail clinic store locations, indicating that there are now nearly 800 Minute Clinic locations, up from just over 600 in 2012.
Over the past five years, Kalorama has analyzed clinic location growth, trends, and key operators. In this report, Kalorama attempts to find out the future of retail clinics by looking at the customers who patronize them, conducting an online panel of 2,000 U.S. adults, age 18 and older. They were queried on a variety of topics: Have they used a retail clinic? If so, were they satisfied? If not, would they consider using one?
Kalorama found that more people are using retail clinics — though not a majority of the U.S. population yet — and that a high percentage of visitors were satisfied with the experience. Visitors skew older, with a high percentage over the age of 40, and the most common reason for a visit is to receive a vaccination. The survey also gleaned information regarding number of patient visits per day, affect of store advertising, likelihood of follow-up visits, and number of clinics having a physician.
"We've surveyed on the question of customer satisfaction a few times in recent years and the trend has always been high," Carlson stated.