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Walgreen has decided to acquire Take Care Health Systems, which operates 50 in-store health clinics in five cities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Take Care will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreen once the deal closes.

Walgreen says that it wants to have as many as 400 clinics by the end of next year; it currently has just 59.

The move reflect the growing conviction on the part of retailers that providing in-store health services will be a key component in making the store relevant, and presages a day when such clinics may be as ubiquitous as banks, pharmacies and video shops.

The Walgreen deal mimics a similar move last year by CVS, which bought MinuteClinic.
KC's View:
We still believe that Wal-Mart will eventually buy one of these clinic operators as a way of controlling costs and operations…especially because its potential rollout of these clinics within its stores is potentially a lot greater than that of either CVS or Walgreen.

And then, let’s see if companies like Kroger or Safeway or Delhaize decide to make similar moves.

The in-store health clinic seems to be the next evolution of the pharmacy. The interesting thing will be to see what the next iteration is.