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Bloomberg reports that Kroger “is talking to potential partners in the health-care industry about developing a new line of business.”

The story quotes CEO Rodney McMullen as saying that Kroger is looking to “identify an area of health care that it could enter and benefit customers -- and perhaps lower their medical costs. Such a venture would also represent a fresh revenue stream for Kroger and complement the advertising and personal-finance businesses that it’s counting on to help generate $400 million in additional operating profit by next year.”

Kroger, of course, is not alone in this line of thinking.

Walmart, the story notes, “has stepped up its ambitions in the wellness space in recent years, offering free health screenings for shoppers and using its clout to buy health care for some of its workers directly from providers.” And Amazon has teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase for a new healthcare venture called Haven that has not yet laid out its business plan.
KC's View:
Kroger already has moved in this direction, creating an alliance with Walgreens that works on a number of levels.

All of these various moves, by Kroger and its competitors, underlines the degree to which so many companies see healthcare as prime and fertile ground on which battles are going to be fought and won. So much of this is because we have an aging population for which wellness relevance is going to be extraordinarily important … and even the reason they make buying decisions.