Another Setback for In-Store Clinics
A May 7 piece on the Wall Street Journal’s website discussed how the bloom was off the walk-in clinic rose in retail stores with 69 locations having closed in 15 states over a period of a few months. The same article discussed how MinuteClinic was scaling back its expansion plans.
Now, comes word that another operator, SmartCare Family Medical Centers, has closed 15 in-store clinics in Wal-Mart stores in Colorado without notifying the retailer.
In a written statement to Denver’s 9News, Wal-Mart said, “We were notified today (June 20, 2008) that SmartCare has decided to close its clinics in Wal-Mart stores effective today. We are working diligently to understand and minimize the impact on our customers. As we find out more, we will keep them informed. We remain committed to working with local and regional hospitals to open additional clinics in our stores.”
William Wertz, a Wal-Mart company spokesperson, told the Rocky Mountain News that the company had not decided what to do with vacated space but that it might seek a partnership with a local medical center to continue providing health services to its customers.
Discussion Questions: Does news of in-store clinics closing affect consumer perceptions and decrease the likelihood that they will visit one of these facilities for a minor medical issue? How, if at all, does the closing of a clinic affect consumers’ opinion of the retail store where it operated?
- SmartCare closes 15 Wal-Mart med clinics – Rocky Mountain News
- SmartCare Clinics Suddenly Shut Down – 9News