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The U.S. retail clinics market size was valued at USD 2.71 billion in 2022. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.79 billion in 2023 to USD 6.36 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.5% during the forecast period.
A retail clinic is a walk-in healthcare institution in retail stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. These clinics treat minor illnesses and provide preventative health care services. After establishing these clinics in the U.S. in 2000, there were numerous concerns regarding the quality of care in these healthcare institutions. However, these concerns were verified shortly thereafter, as the quality of care in the U.S. retail clinics proved superior. Furthermore, the timely medical intervention with improved patient outcome is extended to various patients at a lower cost, which is expected to boost the U.S. retail clinics market growth during the forecast period.
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 increased 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, according to an article published by Becker's Healthcare in May 2023, in the U.S., retail clinic claims volumes increased 200% between 2017 and 2022.
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 coronavirus testing. Patients visited these clinics for their basic healthcare system needs due to the convenience, quality, and low costs offered by these healthcare settings. The pandemic displayed these settings' role in providing low-acuity care due to the COVID-19 testing and vaccination services.
The rise in popularity of these clinics across retail stores during the pandemic 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, the U.S. market is expected to grow considerably during the 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. However, the decline in COVID-19 vaccination and diagnosis in 2021 and 2022 reflects a fallback of market size to pre-pandemic years.
Increased Focus on the Development of Telemedicine Services to Boost Market Expansion
One of the most critical trends witnessed in the industry is an increased focus on developing telemedicine services in these settings in the U.S. over the past couple of years.
Furthermore, telemedicine supports high-service adoption due to its affordability in medical care. Hence, market players are focusing on offering telemedicine services in these institutions.
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Increased Inclusion of Diverse Healthcare Services to Drive Market Growth
One of the critical and essential drivers in the U.S. market 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 opts for preventive and basic medical care to treat their medical conditions before they become more chronic or serious. This has led several retail clinic companies in the U.S. to diversify their services portfolio. Apart from physical health, several retail clinic 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.
Lower Costs at Retail Clinics to Drive Market Growth
The market's growth is primarily fueled by the lower cost of services compared to other healthcare facilities. In the U.S., retail clinics have emerged as a convenient and cost-effective alternative for individuals seeking basic medical services. The affordability factor has increased the demand for retail clinics, particularly those without comprehensive health insurance coverage, among patients.
The most common diseases and medical requirements for which the patient visits retail clinics include cold & cough, refills of prescription medicines, and vaccinations. The critical reasons for these increasing visits include the significantly lower treatment and diagnostic procedure costs in these settings.
Lack of Provision for Treatment of Complex Diseases May 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 the 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 market growth, leading 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, even simple disease diagnoses in older people, such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), require more advanced examination. Hence, these institutions are unsuited for such complex medical interventions. Furthermore, patients' long wait times for regular checkups in these institutions is another factor that hinders market growth.
Increasing Vaccination for Infectious Diseases to Accelerate Growth of Immunization Segment
By service type, the market is segmented into acute respiratory infections, sore throat, conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections, immunization, screening services, and others. The immunization segment held the highest market share in 2022 and is anticipated to register significant growth during the forecast period. These institutions serve as a popular setting for obtaining vaccination for infectious respiratory diseases such as flu.
The sore throat segment held a significant market share in 2022 and is expected to expand at a moderate CAGR in the projected period. The segment's market share 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.
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Strong Presence of Retail-owned Operators to Favor Segmental Growth
By ownership, the market is fragmented into retail-owned operators, hospital-owned retailers, and independent operators. The retailer-owned operators segment held a significant U.S. retail clinics market share in 2022 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 strong market expansion initiatives, is expected to contribute to the segment growth. Furthermore, retailers, such as CVS, accounted for an estimated 48% of retail clinic visits in the U.S. in 2019.
The hospital-owned retailers 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 growth in the coming years.
Substantial Number of Patient Visits to Drive the Retail Pharmacies Segment
Based on channel, the market is segmented into retail pharmacies, groceries/retail stores, and others. The retail pharmacies segment held a dominant market share in 2022. The segment's dominance is attributable to the strong number of patient visits to walk-in health establishments inside the retail pharmacies of companies such as CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Furthermore, the expansion of services offered by walk-in clinics, such as telemedicine, is also expected to contribute to the segment 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 several key states of the U.S., such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Texas, which is expected to contribute to the segment growth.
Strong Number of Locations with Provision of Diverse Services to Lead to CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger’s 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 MinuteClinic, and its expansion and adoption of new trends contribute to its dominant market position.
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. Furthermore, 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 market research report provides a detailed competitive landscape. It focuses on key aspects such as major companies, service type, ownership type, channel, and others. Additionally, the market analysis offers insights into the market trends and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on industry growth. In addition, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
CAGR of 12.5% from 2023-2030
By Service Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the U.S. market stood at USD 2.71 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 6.36 billion by 2030.
The market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 12.5% during the forecast period (2023-2030).
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 are set to drive the market growth.
Walmart Inc., CVS Health, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. are the top players in the market.
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