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Primary care services are embraced

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NEW YORK — Investments by mass retailers to beef up their capabilities in the delivery of primary care services is paying dividends, according to market research from J.D. Power.

The research shows that pharmacy consumers are relying on retailer services including vaccinations, screenings and physical exams, and are generally satisfied with their decisions to do so, J.D. Power said in its “2021 U.S. Pharmacy Study.”

“It was not long ago that the major pharmacy chains, health care providers, health plans and consumers were all asking themselves whether or not people would ever feel comfortable receiving treatment in a retail setting,” said James Beem, managing director of health care intelligence at J.D. Power. “While we have been seeing consumer satisfaction with retail health services grow steadily, this year marks a significant turning point in which most customers are now using these services. The fact that this happened during a pandemic should send a clear signal that retail pharmacies are transforming health and wellness services in America.”

The study, now in its 13th year, measures customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar and mail order pharmacies. Slightly more than half (51%) of 12,646 retail pharmacy customers had used a retail pharmacy’s health and wellness service within 12 months of being surveyed, up from 48% a year earlier and 43% in 2019. Vaccinations and routine screenings were the most frequently used services.

Customers who use these services spend an average of $5 more than those who do not, the researchers found. What’s more, overall satisfaction and brand advocacy increase when customers utilize health and wellness services, with overall satisfaction scores climbing 24 points (on a 1,000-point scale) and net promoter scores increasing by 10 points.

Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranks highest among brick-and-ortar chain drug store pharmacies for a fifth consecutive year, with a score of 912. Health Mart (891) ranks second and Rite Aid Pharmacy ranks third (866). Sam’s Club ranks highest among brick-and-mortar mass merchandiser pharmacies for a sixth consecutive year, with a score of 891. CVS/pharmacy inside Target (879) ranks second and Costco (877) ranks third. H-E-B ranks highest among brick-and-mortar supermarket pharmacies with a score of 896. Wegmans (892) ranks second and Stop & Shop (885) ranks third.

A separate study, from FMI, analyzed investments made by food retailers to turn their stores into community health and well-being destinations.

FMI polled grocery retailers and found that 84% have mapped out a health and well-being strategy for their company, up from 49% just two years ago. “Eighty-five percent of food retail executives who responded to the survey view these initiatives as key selling points for their store’s brand to compete for customer loyalty, and 69% believe they are a significant business growth opportunity for the entire industry in the years ahead,” said Krystal Register, FMI’s director of health and well-being.


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