Drugstore companies have had a fair degree of success offering some form of walk-in care for vaccinations and lower-acuity complaints. Big-box store operators keep trying but have yet to hit on a health concept that works. Now the parent company of a successful convenience store chain, QuikTrip, appears to be gaining some traction by providing more traditional urgent care services than one would find in a retail pharmacy. Having seen success with 11 such centers branded under the name MedWise in the Tulsa, OK area, the company now has plans to open new standalone locations in the Kansas City marketplace. As in Tulsa, according to a report from KSHB, Kansas City, the new MedWise facilities will offer flu shots and other vaccinations, as well as COVID-19 tests and treatment for minor illness and injuries. The appeal of urgent care to the parent company is likely the same as it is for venture capitalists and healthcare systems—an opportunity to invest in and diversify into a resilient business model that leverages many familiar capabilities in branding, site selection, and human resources practices.
A New Take on Diversification—from Convenience Stores to Convenient Care