International Retailers Doctor, doctor
In the US, Walmart is slowing its expansion into brick-and-mortar primary healthcare and growing its capacity for the national delivery of virtual urgent care, mental health services, and primary care with the acquisition of telehealth provider MeMD, tapping into a growing trend which sees more established players with retail presence going up against a new generation of online-only providers. Unrelated, but Walmart are currently on a hiring jag, offering thousands of well-paid jobs with leave and benefits as the US economy lumbers back to life. Aldi and Lidl are about to get a run for their money in the UK, where Russian chain Svetofor, which operates under ‘Mere’ in Europe, is setting up shop. And in France, Carrefour are working with suppliers Barilla, Bel, Danone, Savencia and Unilever to pioneer a range of balanced, gourmet recipes aimed at the healthier eater and made from the suppliers’ own products.
Comment: Telemedicine is massive and only going to grow – it is already on offer through South African health retailers, with select Clicks and MediRite pharmacy clinics offering Udok medical consultations and Dis-Chem clinics offering medical consultations through the Dis-Chem Clinic Connect service. Get onboard – opportunities abound.