1 in 5 U.S. Adults Turn to this Location for Their Health and Wellness Needs


Retail clinics, a category of “walk-ins” typically found in retail, supermarket and drugstore chains, have been seeing an upward tick in consumers for quite some time. In fact, the number of retail clinics in the U.S. is expected to hit 2,800 by next year – 14 times the amount there used to be just 10 years ago.

Who frequents them?

Last fall, The Harris Poll® surveyed 2,223 U.S. adults and determined that nearly 19 percent of them sought medical attention at a health clinic in the last 12 months, either for themselves or for a member of their family.

The market research firm found that over half of Americans visited retail clinics for some kind of treatment, while the rest went for flu vaccinations, health screenings, and general health assessments and physicals. 53 percent of visitors ended up purchasing a product during or after their visit.

In terms of customer profile, The Harris Poll® determined that patients of retail clinics were most likely to be:

  • Mostly men (22 percent versus 16 percent women)
  • 26 percent of patients were 18-34 years old; 20 percent were 35-44 years old; and 11 percent were 55-65 years old
  • 29 percent were living in a household with children (versus 13 percent without children)
  • 21 percent were married (compared to 16 percent who were not married)
  • 26 percent lived in an urban area; 16 percent lived in the suburbs; and 16 percent lived in a rural area

Why this is an opportunity for brands

Retail clinics are appealing for several reasons: while they only really serve those with minor illnesses or seeking preventative health care services, they’re a great option for consumers in need of quick, convenient service at an affordable price.

For many brands, especially those used to targeting general wellness or health food retailers, retail clinics could potentially be an additional way to get on your target consumer’s radar. Brands with a focus on millennial customers are at a particular advantage, as millennials are twice as likely to make a purchase when visiting retail clinics. In addition to health and wellness products, patients tend to purchase personal care, food, and cleaning products. As someone who’s picked up a quite a few (probably unnecessary) things within these categories while waiting for a prescription to be filled at a retail clinic, I can attest the above to be true. Simply being within eyesight of a retail clinic counter could be a prime shelf spot for brands.

Experts also agree that these clinics mean good news for the retail industry. “As the price of health care continues to rise and become more complex, Americans are increasingly seeking easier and more affordable ways to address their everyday health needs and concerns,” said Andrew Mandzy, Director of Strategic Insights for Nielsen’s Health & Wellness Growth & Strategy Practice. “Beyond just flu shots, more and more consumers are turning to in-store retail clinics for wellness management, marking a real growth opportunity for retailers.”

Dayana Cadet

Dayana Cadet

Dayana’s love affair with writing spans all manner of content. As the Content Specialist at Hubba, connecting people to the things they love is where she thrives.

Follow her at @D_isforDayana
Dayana Cadet