Blurred lines

November 29, 2013By Behind the Shelf Blog, Future of Retail

posted by Dave Wendland

Robin Thicke’s mega-hit skyrocketed to the top of the music charts. With a pulsating beat and lyrics that literally get stuck in your head, “Blurred Lines” hypnotically takes listeners to new heights. It offers a juxtaposition of reality with fantasy and begs the question “what if?"

What does a pop song have to do with today’s retail healthcare market? Plenty. Today’s fast-paced, constantly-transforming retail landscape is blurring many lines.Today’s fast-paced, constantly-transforming retail landscape is blurring many lines.

On becoming convenience stores

Used to be that corner convenience stores were the primary destinations for the hurried fill-in trip or quick prepared meal option. However, when you examine the likes of Walgreens, CVS, or Boots, their format is every bit a c-store.

On becoming healthcare providers

Make no mistake, the number of convenience care clinics (in-store health clinics) is poised to explode. Largely fueled by the Affordable Care Act and the shortage of primary care physician and patient relationships, in-store clinics will fit the bill nicely.

On becoming 24/7 operators

Sure, a certain number of traditional brick-and-mortar retail pharmacies remain open around the clock, but it’s the Internet and mobile computing that has put prescription refills, educational information, and extended store aisles just one mouse click away. Any time. Any place.

On becoming one-stop grocery stores

Look no further than the corner chain drugstore (or dollar store for that matter) and witness the transformation of its assortment of grocery items. It quickly becomes evident that they want a share of the daily grocery wallet.

On becoming entertainment (and liquor) centers

Wanting to watch a Hollywood blockbuster, download the latest music, buy a pre-paid dining or entertainment card, print family photographs on canvas? The drugstore’s your answer. And you may be able to satisfy your thirst along the way.

This blurred landscape is not dissipating any time soon. Fasten your seat belt and watch for the next evolution of what you’ll find inside, outside, and around retail healthcare operations.

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