Written by GHS team member John Cobb

What’s driving the retail presence explosion?

Five years ago, urgent care clinics (UCC’s) were a novelty and walk-in retail clinics were even less common. Today, both are common… and their numbers are growing rapidly. According to a source in a recent article, 10 years ago medical providers comprised roughly 2% of retail occupancy while today, as many as 40% of new retail real estate transactions in a given market are with healthcare providers.


The article, published in the Chicago Tribune, provided great industry statistics:

  • Urgent Care is now a $16 billion a year industry

  • Growth is predicted to 3.5% annually for the next 10 years

  • There are roughly 7000 centers open currently

  • Between 300 and 600 open across the country annually

How are these retail clinics impacting the healthcare industry? According to a quoted Accenture report:

  • Visits to UCC’s increased roughly 19% between 2010 and 2015, to nearly 177 million visits

  • Visits to walk-in retail clinics have increased 76%, to nearly 19 million visits during the same period

  • Combined, UCC and walk-in retail visits represent roughly 20% of all primary care visits today

From a real landlord’s estate standpoint, several factors can make urgent care facilities desirable As the article points out, medical tenants bring stable finances, solid credit, and different (and desirable) foot traffic patterns. Another factor GHS tenant representatives have observed is that healthcare providers are willing to make longer-term commitments than many retail tenants.

From a provider standpoint, retail presence plays a critical role as well. Economically, it delivers care in the lowest cost setting – this benefits both providers and consumers. Operationally, it allows hospitals to alleviate overcrowded emergency rooms and functions as a “point of capture” for higher-acuity cases. And from a marketing standpoint, is provides brand presence in high-traffic corridors.

Clearly, retail healthcare delivery is beneficial to all parties. For a discussion specific to your situation, contact a GHS representative – we’ll be happy to discuss your strategy.

Original Article - Chicago Tribune

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