Shoppers Drug Mart tests its first medical clinic

Sabira Habib
Retail Analyst

Date : 18 August 2020

The drugstore chain unveiled its first medical clinic in Toronto with plans to expand nationwide.

Testing out ‘the Health Clinic by Shoppers’  

Shoppers Drug Mart opened its first primary-care medical clinic called ‘the health Clinic by Shoppers’ to offer one-stop access to medical services and advice. This is the first of three clinics expected to roll out over the next year with plans to further expand across the country.

Through this initiative, it aims to make healthcare more accessible to patients by extending its operating hours and offering digital integration such as booking appointments online, telehealth services with Medeo and electronic health records via the AccuroEMR platform.

Jeff Leger, Shopper Drug Mart’s president highlighted,

“The world changed quickly and dramatically this year, highlighting the need for more accessible healthcare options for patients – whether that means extended hours and more convenient locations for in-person services, or virtual care services for all patients including those who don't currently have access to a family physician. The Health Clinic by Shoppers combines convenience and technology in a way that is increasingly relevant to Canadians looking for health and wellness support."

To support the new initiative and implementation of the health clinic model, the drugstore has put together a team of professionals with extensive experience in health clinic operation and a Physician Advisory Board to ensure it can deliver to its consumers’ healthcare needs.

Aligned with Loblaw’s strategic framework

This represents further innovation in the drugstore model by the Loblaw-owned chain. In 2018, it opened two standalone outlets providing cosmetic dermatology, operating as ‘The Beauty Clinic by Shoppers’. Recently, it partnered with Maple to launch a virtual care service and is working with SilverCloud Health to offer Canadians a free virtual stress management programme. This aligns with a key pillar of its strategic framework to create a connected healthcare system.

Retailers taking a stronger role in healthcare

Retailers are increasingly looking to take a larger role in healthcare provision. While this was happening pre-pandemic, COVID-19 has strengthened the links between food and pharmacy and wellbeing. In June, Walmart opened two further Walmart Health locations, including a smaller footprint prototype to test a different layout and services. The retailer plans to continue expanding the format which aims to deliver low, transparent pricing for key healthcare services.