Major expansion planned for Walmart Health

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada

Date : 18 September 2020

Following the launch of the first Walmart Health facility last year, Walmart has outlined plans to take the initiative to at least 22 locations by the end of next year.

Targeting the Florida market

The first Walmart Health facility opened in Dallas Georgia, followed by a further four locations in the state and one in Bentonville, Arkansas. This year, the retailer plans to open seven further locations in Georgia and two in the Chicago area. Walmart also plans to open seven Walmart Health locations in Jacksonville, Florida, while it is also starting to develop plans for Orlando and Tampa in the state.

Source: Walmart

Modular build approach to support accelerated opening plan

To support the rapid pace of openings, Walmart is partnering with BLOX, a maker of medical modules. This will standardise its manufacturing processes, enabling a more efficient construction process and the ability to scale the model. This approach was adopted for the most recent opening in Cartersville, Georgia. This suggests that most of the new facilities will be constructed adjacent to existing Supercenters, rather than repurposing existing space.

Source: Walmart

Low pricing and convenient access

The retailer continues to build on the learnings of its initial openings, with the model receiving high satisfaction ratings from patients and clinicians. The service is seeing a high level of repeat bookings, with more than 50% of visits booked by returning patients.

Customers have responded favourably to the low, transparent pricing which Walmart Health offers. The convenience of having one central location for primary and urgent care, labs, x-ray and diagnostics, counselling, dental, optical and hearing services has been well received. Accessibility has also been improved through being open in the evening and on weekends.

Source: Walmart

Shifting towards chronic care management

Walmart Health has focused on offering a full range of healthcare services. Half of its patient visit volume is for primary care, while the other half is for specialty care such as optometry, dental and behavioural health needs. In its longest-standing locations, the business is seeing a shift towards chronic care management.

Source: Walmart

New revenue streams

The development of Walmart Health aligns with Walmart’s purpose, ‘Save Money. Live Better.’ This development is a natural progression given its long-standing presence in the healthcare sector through its pharmacy and optical businesses. It also aligns with the company’s plans to develop a broader ecosystem and develop new revenue streams. With the US healthcare market estimated at $2.5T, this could be a significant opportunity for the retailer, especially given its mandate to offer low, transparent pricing.

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