2014: Year of the retail clinic
Kroger’s Little Clinic is on a growth path. The company is looking to open as many as 50 new retail-based health clinics next year, according to published reports, as part of a clear health care play the retailer is making in the midst of healthcare reform.
We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again: 2014 will be the year of the retail clinic.
"The Convenient Care Association and its clinic members are looking forward to an exciting year of growtrh and expansion, providing accessible, affordable, quality care to millions of current and new consumers nationwide," Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the Convenient Care Association said.
Kroger currently has about 106 clinic locations and, by the end of 2013, the company looks to have nearly 120 clinics across six states. Next year, as many as 50 additional clinics will open their doors, according to reports.
Then there’s CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic business, which has been described by president and CEO Larry Merlo as “a key enabler of our integrated pharmacy care offerings.” As previously reported by Drug Store News, the company has ramped up its expansion plans and now expects to have more than 1,500 MinuteClinic by 2017.
In August, it was announced that Community Health Network has officially begun its clinical collaboration with the Walgreens’ Healthcare Clinic, creating one of the largest integrated continuums of healthcare delivery in Indiana. As noted by Drug Store News, the collaboration dovetails nicely with Walgreens’ plans to significantly expand the scope of care found at Healthcare Clinic.
Furthermore, the convenient care industry and the important role that it plays in the U.S. healthcare system increasingly moves into the spotlight. For example, Andrew Sussman, SVP and associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, as well as president of MinuteClinic, was among those who participated in the panel discussion, “The Walk-In Clinic Revolution,” during Forbes’ second annual Healthcare Summit held in New York City Oct. 9 to 10.
As millions of Americans are added into the insurance fold come 2014 due to health care reform — amid a growing shortage of primary care physicians — the role of the retail-based health clinics will no doubt become increasingly important.
Yes, 2014 will be the year of the retail clinic.
Survey: Nine-in-10 consumers plan to shop in stores this holiday season
San Francisco — Almost 9-in-10 (88%) consumers will shop in stores this holiday season, compared to 75% who will shop online and 16% who will shop via mobile device. A new Harris Interactive survey co-sponsored by Aerohive Networks and Euclid also shows that physical retailers still need to address consumer concerns regarding in-store holiday shopping.
Specifically, consumers are most concerned about crowds (42%), lines (29%), and out-of-stock items (15%) affecting their in-store holiday shopping this year.
"Online shopping will never replace the tactile feel of an in-store shopping experience,” said Scott Frymoyer, head of Euclid’s data insights team. “Until recently, the online retailer held a distinct data advantage over the brick and mortar world. Together with Aerohive, we want to provide physical retailers with the same data that their online counterparts use, while improving the benefits of being in a store. Our goal is to offer a better shopping experience to consumers and increase profitability in retailers.”
Major trend for 2014: Personalization
A recent survey, dubbed the “Retail Buying Experience,” by Experticity has revealed an expertise gap among sales associates at retail. The survey also found that consumers value expertise above all else, but 2-out-of-5 consumers said they are routinely disappointed by the lack of expertise they encounter in the stores.
The survey findings really point to one word: personalization.
Like the survey says, consumers want help with their buying decisions, and they want the retailers to be an active player in their shopping experience. They want retail sales associates who have product knowledge, can help in selecting the right products, have category knowledge and can assist in finding alternatives when the first choice is not available. They want personalization.
Expect to hear that word a lot in 2014 as personalization is clearly shaping up to be a major trend for the coming year.
For example, in exclusive interviews with Drug Store News, CVS/pharmacy executives shared how personalization is at the heart of every strategic initiative and key retail programming playing out across its enterprise, impacting every aspect of its retail operation.
Further underscoring the point are the findings of Cognizant’s “2013 Shopper Experience Study,” which is an annual survey of shoppers’ likes, dislikes and deal breakers. The survey of 2,500 consumers highlights the growing importance of capturing and analyzing every customer interaction in today’s highly competitive and fragmented retail landscape. Cognizant is a provider of information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing services.
“Personalization and tailor-made campaigns are all the rage in retail campaigns and promotions. In fact, gone are the days when one-size-fits-all large promotions are applied to increase basket size. With an increase in margin pressures, marketers are trying to focus on getting that extra mile,” the Cognizant study states.
One example cited by Cognizant is Kroger, which refined its direct marketing strategy by using data from its loyalty-card program and sent unique coupon offerings to specific households. “The company believes that this level of promotional personalization offers a path toward creating a direct link to its customers that no other U.S. grocery retailer can replicate,” the Cognizant study states.
There’s no doubt that personalization is quickly rising to the top of key trends in retail. Like we said, expect to hear that word a lot more in 2014.