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The U.S. retail clinics market size was valued at USD 3.49 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 2.05 billion in 2022 to USD 4.22 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.8% during the forecast period. Based on our analysis, the U.S. retail clinics market exhibited a higher growth of 21.5% in 2020 as compared to 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with retail clinics experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across the U.S. compared to pre-pandemic levels.
A retail clinic is a type of walk-in healthcare institution situated in retail stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. These clinics treat minor illnesses and provide preventative health care services. When these clinics were opened first in the U.S. in 2000, there were numerous concerns regarding the quality of care in these healthcare institutions. However, these concerns were unverified shortly thereafter, as it was proved that the quality of care in the U.S. retail clinics was of superior quality. Furthermore, the timely medical intervention with improved patient outcome is extended to various patients at a lower cost, which is expected to lead the market growth during the forecast period.
Moreover, in the past two decades, there has been a consistent increase in the patient population visiting clinics for a wide range of medical requirements. This has led to an increasing demand for these settings that can provide effective medical care leading to better patient outcomes. This has also increased the accessibility of healthcare to a wider strata of the population. For instance, in May 2021, Geisinger Health announced plans to open a new ConvenientCare+ in Geisinger’s South Wilkes-Barre campus. Additional resources were added to these retail clinics such as access to laboratory and imaging services.
Increased COVID-19 Virus Testing Boosted the Market Growth
The emergence of COVID-19 increased the demand for retail clinics due to convenient access to healthcare services for COVID-19 testing. Patients visit these clinics for their basic healthcare system needs due to the convenience, quality, and low costs offered by these healthcare settings. The industry witnessed a significant growth of 21.5% from 2019 to 2020. The pandemic displayed the role that these settings can play in providing low-acuity care due to the COVID-19 testing and vaccination services provided in these settings.
The rise in popularity of these clinics across retail stores during the pandemic has encouraged major players, such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, to expand their presence in the market. With increased awareness among the population about the benefits provided by these institutions (present at convenient locations, offering affordable care) during the pandemic, it is expected that the market will continue to grow considerably during the U.S. retail clinics market forecast period.
Furthermore, growing initiatives to reduce patients visiting hospital settings amid the pandemic increased the demand for retail clinics in 2020. For instance, near-virtual office visits increased the accessibility for patients to get virtual access for immunizations and testing through worksite clinics. Hence, the factors mentioned above significantly supported the market growth rate in 2020, thereby reflecting a positive COVID-19 impact on the U.S. industry.
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Increased Focus on Development of Telemedicine Services to Boost the Market
One of the most critical trends witnessed in the industry is an increased focus on developing telemedicine services in these settings in the United State over the past couple of years.
Furthermore, telemedicine, due to its affordability in medical care, supports high service adoption. Hence, market players are focusing on offering telemedicine services in these institutions.
Increased Inclusion of Diverse Healthcare Services to Augment Market Growth
One of the critical and essential drivers in the U.S. industry is the substantial increase in services available in these locations. The need for better and improved medical intervention is increasing as the general populace is becoming more aware of the benefits of preventive medical care. Hence, a significant proportion of the patient population is opting for preventive and basic medical care to treat their medical conditions before it becomes more chronic or serious in terms of nature. This has led a number of retail clinics companies in the United States to diversify their services portfolio. Apart from physical health, several retail clinics companies also focus on providing services related to mental health, as more individuals become aware of the benefits of well-functioning behavioral health.
Therefore, the expansion of services offered by these clinics in the U.S. is expected to propel the U.S. retail clinics market growth during the forecast period.
Expansion Initiatives by Key Companies to Open New Establishments in the U.S. to Lead to Market Growth
The increasing initiatives in the form of new walk-in healthcare establishment openings are anticipated to strongly contribute to the growth of the market over the forecast period. Some of the advantages of these expansion initiatives include greater access to the patient population, which leads to a greater volume of patient visits to these settings.
Furthermore, these expansion initiatives potentially give access to the underserved regions of the U.S. as numerous institutions are concentrated in the Midwestern and Southern U.S.
Lack of Provision for Treatment of Complex Diseases Might Restrict Market Growth
Despite a critical and increased need for these clinics, one of the strong hindrances to market growth is the lack of provision for treating complex diseases. Despite increasing demand for chronic disease management in the U.S., the limited presence of advanced medical equipment in these clinics to treat complex diseases may decrease service adoption rates. Lack of resources, such as medical equipment and expertise, to treat severe chronic conditions is expected to hinder the market growth as it leads to decreased patient visits.
Moreover, as the U.S. witnesses the trends of the aging population, there are projections that a number of older patients will visit these institutions more for medical treatment. However, in the older people, even simple disease diagnoses, such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), require more advanced examination. Hence, these institutions are unsuited for such complex medical interventions. Furthermore, another factor that hinders the market growth is the long wait time that patients have to face for regular checkups in these institutions.
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Increasing Vaccination for Infectious Diseases to Accelerate the Growth of Immunization Segment
Among service type, the market is segmented into acute respiratory infections, sore throat, conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections, immunization, screening services, and others.
The immunization segment was the largest segment in 2021 and is anticipated to register significant growth during the forecast period. In terms of obtaining vaccination for infectious respiratory diseases, such as flu, these institutions serve as a popular setting.
The sore throat segment held a significant market share in 2021 and is expected to expand at a moderate CAGR in the projected period. The market share of the segment is attributable to the substantial number of patient visits to these institutions, the ease of obtaining quick medical intervention, and the comparatively lower cost of treatment.
Strong Presence of Retail-Owned Operators to Favor the Segmental Growth
Among ownership, the retailer-owned operators segment held a significant U.S. retail clinics market share in 2021 and is anticipated to register lucrative growth during the forecast period. The presence of a strong number of these institutions in the U.S. operated by retailer-owned operators, coupled with a strong market expansion initiative, is expected to contribute to the segment's growth. Furthermore, retailers, such as CVS, accounted for an estimated 48% of retail clinic visits in the U.S. in 2019.
The hospital-owned operators segment is expected to account for a comparatively lower market share due to a relatively lesser number of these institutions operated by hospitals. However, recent developments, including outsourcing of operations of these institutions by retail chains, such as Walgreens, to hospital-based operators are expected to contribute to the segment’s growth in the coming years.
Substantial Number of Patient Visits to Drive the Retail Pharmacies Segment
Based on channel, the retail pharmacies segment held a dominant share in 2021 in the market. The dominance of the segment is attributable to the strong number of patient visits to walk-in health establishments situated inside the retail pharmacies of companies such as CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Furthermore, expansion of services offered by the walk-in clinics, such as telemedicine, is also expected to contribute to the segment’s growth in future.
The groceries/retail stores segment is expected to be the second dominant segment during the forecast period. A substantial number of these clinics are operated by chains such as Kroger’s The Little Clinic and Walmart Care Clinic in the key states of the U.S., such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Texas, which is expected to contribute to the segment’s growth.
Strong Number of Locations Coupled with Provision of Diverse Services to Lead to CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger’s Market Dominance
The competitive landscape of the U.S. market is consolidated in nature. The key players operating in the U.S. are CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger.
CVS is a dominant player in the U.S. The company’s market dominance is due to the large number of locations operated in the U.S. and the diverse services portfolio of the company’s clinics. It has a comprehensive services portfolio for diagnostics, women’s health, and common illnesses. CVS has more than 1,000 retail clinics and its expansion & adoption of new trends are contributing to the dominant position in the market.
Walgreens is another major player in the market. The company has a robust services portfolio across the U.S., and has strong tie-ups with insurance companies. Also, Kroger is considered a prominent player, especially due to its strong network of grocery and retail stores across many locations in the U.S.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Retail Clinics Market
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The research report provides a detailed competitive landscape. It focuses on key aspects, such as major companies, service type, ownership type, channel, and others. Additionally, it offers insights into the market trends and impact of COVID-19. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Service Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the U.S. market stood at USD 3.49 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 4.22 billion by 2029.
The market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 10.8% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
By service type, the immunization segment will lead the market.
Strong number of locations, availability of healthcare at lower costs, diverse services portfolio, and increasing presence of key companies in the U.S. market to strongly drive the market growth.
Walmart Inc., CVS Health, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. are the top players in the market.
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