The company that practically invented one-stop shopping is getting serious about adding physicals, vaccinations and virus treatment to the list. Wal-Mart Stores announced in February that it planned to open 400 clinics in its retail stores by 2010. Don't call it a Wal-Mart clinic, it's The Clinic at Wal-Mart. They are located inside the stores and co-branded, but operated by local medical outfits.
Wal-Mart isn't the only retailer looking to capitalize on the retail clinic. Target, Kroger and drugstore chains CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have also opened retail clinics in recent years. CVS in 2006 acquired MinuteClinic, and the clinics inside its drugstores account for the majority of MinuteClinic's 500-plus locations.
There are more than 1,000 convenience care clinics operating in 34 states, according to Merchant Market, an industry consulting and research group. In 2006, there were just around 200 nationwide, and those were mostly MinuteClinics. With Wal-Mart's plan to add 400 to the national tally within just a year and a half, the in-store clinic may be on a path to becoming a relatively common sight (see chart above).