Wal-Mart Enters the Primary Care Market

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will start offering vaccinations for infectious diseases beyond influenza and pneumonia at 2,700 U.S. stores on Monday as the retailer continues edging into health-care services. The Bentonville, Ark., chain will offer 10 immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including shots for shingles, meningitis, hepatitis and the human papillomavirus or HPV, which can lead to cervical cancers.

Read more on Wal-Mart’s health-and-wellness business segment expansion in the WSJ.

Comments (10)

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  1. Chuck says:

    Next, Wal-mart will be seeling cars and homes.

  2. studebaker says:

    I’ve often thought that Walmart should be in the health care business. Bringing together hundreds of thousands of products from all over the world — many perishable — and selling them at low prices requires experience in logistics and systems research. Cheesecake Factory may be an example of streamlining very complex processes as an example of what health care could do. Walmart is another example of process engineering to boost efficiency.

  3. seyyed says:

    Very cool. The vaccines will also be quicker and cheaper than going to your primary physician. I’m assuming wal-mart’s foray into these services takes a page from the book of these retail clinics which are increasingly popular because they are cheaper, easier to deal with, and are easily accessible as i’m sure wal-marts service will try to replicate

  4. Baker says:

    We’re seeing robust competition in the small segment of the market where the current system allows it. Any reform should promote similar competition across the rest of the field.

  5. Linda Gorman says:

    Already doing this at a lot of Walgreens in my area. Very convenient. Walk in, get stuck. No appointment necessary.

  6. Matthew says:

    We all know Walmart is well-known for its low prices, not just on groceries but on just about anything you may need. However, some people associate low prices to low quality. For this reason, more often than not, you see low or middle-income families shopping at these stores, unlike higher-income groups who tend to shop at more costly locations they can afford. Could this be a reason for this new approach to fail? or is there a strong market that may find these services appealing?

  7. Adrienne S. says:

    I find it interesting how this retailer corporation, relatively new to the health care market, is making it possible for EVERYONE to have access to affordable immunizations and shots to the mentioned diseases. Yet experienced health care providers, already in the market, can’t.

  8. Marcus says:

    Excellent approach to broaden their markets…and not afraid of the risks, it seems like. Looking forward to seeing what other projects this giant in the retail business has up its sleeve.

  9. Beatrice says:

    Very interesting…but how reliable are these vaccionations? does the quality remain the same as the ones offered in regular medical institutions? As Matthew pointed out, some consumers might see this as a red flag and not trust the cheap service…as cheap sometimes means low quality.

  10. Jason K. says:

    Hurray! Good news to all those Walmart shoppers! I bet this will increase the number of visitors to these stores and, therefore, increase their sales. Fantastic business plan.