Why Should Grocery Stores (and Retailers) Be In The Healthcare Business

Short answer = they appear to understand the customer experience.

Obviously some companies like CVS and Walgreens are both retailers and pharmacies.  They are clearly in the healthcare business and with CVS stopping selling cigarettes, they are clearly trying to show their commitment to healthcare.  

Other retailers like Walmart are clearly in the pharmacy business.  They’ve also done lots of different programs around healthcare, and there are always rumors of more.  And, they are also in the grocery business.

Target is an example of a retailer that has gotten into the pharmacy and clinic business and now in the grocery business.

Kroger is a very traditional grocery store company who has had pharmacies (like about 50% of grocery stores) and has made several steps to get into the healthcare space.  

I tee this up because whenever I see the Temkin Experience Ratings I’m always amazed that the grocery chain with the worst experience rating is similar in value to the best healthplan experience.  



I think by now we all understand that the healthcare experience actually matters…and will matter even more in an exchange world where they have more freedom to find a plan that works for them.  

We’ve  seen some companies focus on this (e.g., Cigna with their Chief Experience Officer who is now the Chief Experience Officer at Prime Therapeutics).  You can see PWC’s report on this and also compare different industries to healthcare.  You can go and visit this deck on 13 great healthcare experiences.  At the end of the day, the healthcare experience is one leg of the Triple Aim and is a key opportunity for differentiation.    

One Response to “Why Should Grocery Stores (and Retailers) Be In The Healthcare Business”

  1. I really liked your chart on the Temkin Experience Ratings and your comparison between Grocery stores and health care. It’s eye opening.

    My wife recently had to visit the hospital and had an overnight stay there. It was amazing to see the focus on our experience there by the staff. They provided complementary valet parking for the emergency room, they made sure that my wife and I had everything we needed throughout the visit and they even had an “Experience Advocate” visit us to ask how they were doing and how they could improve. I believe they must have seen the Temkin ratings also and decided to do something about it. Good for them!

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