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Forbes reports that VillageMD, which is 60 percent owned by Walgreens, "now has a network over more than 680 locations across the U.S., including 200 adjacent to the pharmacy chain’s U.S. drugstores."  The expanded footprint is due to Village MD's $8.9 billion acquisition of Summit Health.

According to the story, "The early and future success of the Village Medical at Walgreens clinics, which include eight exam rooms with two physicians and a staff, is already figuring in a more positive future financial outlook for the drugstore chain … Having more healthcare services and closer relationships with physicians makes Walgreens medical care provider network more attractive to health insurance companies, looking for more convenient and lower cost primary care options for their clients."

KC's View:

If nothing else, the past three years have reminded us how important it is to have easy access to various levels of healthcare.  I've long felt that this is a smart strategic move for retailers to make, though I've expressed some skepticism about retailers' ability to deliver on the promise;  the long-term play of creating enabling relationships between healthcare professionals and patients may not always be in synch with the short-term demands of being a chain retailer.

But I admire the impulse.