Target Adding Health Clinics to 8 Stores

Target Corp. will open five in-store clinics in the Chicago area and three in Palm Beach, Fla., broadening a health-care option that has seen slower growth in a weakened economy.

The clinics will be open daily to treat patients for routine illnesses and injuries such as ear and sinus infections, skin treatments and certain vaccinations.

“Health and wellness is an important focus for Target, and we’re thrilled to offer Target Clinic services to our guests in Chicago and Palm Beach,” said Keri Jones, Target senior VP of merchandising. “We hope the new locations help our guests and their families reach their well-being goals with the same quality of service and value they expect from Target.”

These new facilities are the second biggest group of clinics to open in Target stores since the company opened its first nine clinics in Minneapolis in 2006, according to the Chicago Tribune. The new clinics will give Target 36 clinics in the United States.

Target said it will continue to expand it clinic locations but will be “strategic” and is not planning a major expansion across the United States at this time, the retailer reported. Target has 21 clinics in Minnesota and seven locations in Maryland stores.

The Minneapolis-based retailer launched its first health clinic four years ago but has not been as aggressive as rivals like CVS/Caremark Corp. and Walgreens that have opened several hundred clinics in recent years only to slow expansion in the last two, the Tribune reported.

Fees for most services at the Target clinics run $59 to $69 but out-of-pocket costs can be cheaper for those with health coverage. A co-payment can be $20 to $40 per visit depending on insurance company health plans.

In 2008 and 2009, the retail health clinic market shrank in the wake of the financial crisis as smaller chains ceased expansion or lost financial support. As of Aug. 1, there were 1,181 retail clinics compared to 1,125 at the same time a year ago, according to Tom Charland, chief executive of Merchant Medicine, a consulting firm that tracks retail clinic growth, the Tribune reported.


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