The number of retail clinics jumped 11.2 percent to 1,355 in 2011 after slow growth in 2010 and 2009, according to a report by Thomas Charland, chief executive of Merchant Medicine, which tracks the growth of retail medical care services. The number of retail clinics rose only 3 percent in 2010 and had flat growth in 2009 when the financial crisis and the related poor real estate market caused some smaller operators to close their doors. This followed several years of rapid growth.
The potential for clinics is far from tapped. Even 1,300 stores, given the retail universe of the United States, is a small amount. In Kalorama's analysis on this topic, we've indicated that the retail clinic concept proved not to be recession-proof, and that it failed to expand much beyond the drug store arena. But in that arena it is succeeding well, and corporate decisions at major chains could lead to giant increases in this market.
Kalorama has been covering retail clinics since 2007. Our report on the subject which includes not only store growth forecasts but also business projections for retail clinics and supplier selling to retail clinics can be found at the Kalorama Information website. This is an industry which many see as benefiting from healthcare reform as it offers newly insured who may not have an existing provider a convenient option for care.