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There has been a lot of coverage lately of how supermarkets and drug stores are using in-store health clinics – offering basic medical services, diagnostics, shots and vaccinations – as a way of expanding their relevance to consumers.

The New York Times reports that one company that is developing these clinics, “Harmony Pharmacy and Health Center, plans to open a combined health center, pharmacy and retail store on Thursday in the shopping concourse of Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport. It is the first such retail service at an airport in the United States, the company said.” And plans are in place “to expand into 15 major airports and, as it establishes its brand among the relatively affluent airline travelers’ market, expand into high-end urban and suburban shopping areas in places like Greenwich, Conn.”
KC's View:
Well, that differential advantage lasted about 15 minutes…

Not that supermarkets and drug stores probably have to worry much about the airport facilities – those of us who use them (and we can easily imagine getting a flu shot during a long layover) will probably do so because getting to the supermarket isn’t convenient.

But the idea that these things could start popping up in stand-along locations? Well, this shows how the health care business is changing, and how people are starting to think differently about their own medical care.

This story also suggests something else – that stores need to go to where the people are, and find even unorthodox locations that will make the store relevant to how people live their lives.

The currents are moving fast. We all have to paddle hard to catch up.