By Jessica Finch
Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. is expanding its services to include walk-in medical clinics as part of an effort to drive foot traffic to its retail stores. The retailer has announced the opening of its first managed medical clinic in Toronto with plans for a national rollout.
Owned and operated by Shoppers Drug Mart, the Health Clinic by Shoppers is a primary-care and family practice clinic, providing patients with convenient, one-stop access to medical services and trusted advice.
SHOPPERS DRUG MART WILL OPEN THREE MEDICAL CLINICS IN THE GTA
Located at a standalone Shoppers Drug Mart store near the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Dufferin Street at 770 Lawrence Avenue West, the clinic is only the first of three expected to open over the next year in the Greater Toronto Area as a pilot for a much bigger initiative that will act as a draw to Shoppers Drug Mart stores. The Lawrence Avenue clinic is about a kilometre south of the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
Coming at a time when healthcare is being prioritized more than ever before, the clinic hosts a suite of family medicine services and aims to make healthcare more accessible for patients with extended operating hours and increased technology, such as online appointment booking and virtual care options through Medeo solutions and electronic health records via the AccuroEMR platform.
“We know Canadians want and need more from their primary care. The world changed quickly and dramatically this year, highlighting the need for more accessible healthcare options for patients – whether that means extended hours and more convenient locations for in-person services, or virtual care services for all patients including those who don’t currently have access to a family physician,” says Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart. “The Health Clinic by Shoppers combines convenience and technology in a way that is increasingly relevant to Canadians looking for health and wellness support.”
SHOPPERS DRUG MART IS HIGHLY REGARDED AND TRUSTED BY MANY CANADIANS
Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. A study conducted by Field Agent Canada in April showed that Canadians ranked Shoppers highly in terms of retailers to depend on during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Shoppers — which is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited — expands its range of healthcare services, the company has assembled a team of individuals with extensive experience in health clinic operations and management, and established a Physician Advisory Board to support the design and implementation of the new health clinic model.
“The COVID 19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on both the way Canadians access health care and on how physicians deliver primary care to their patients,” says Dr. Barry McLellan of the Health Clinic by Shoppers Physician Advisory Board. “Through an enhanced experience of consistent quality of care, convenient hours, technology-enabled and virtual care services all delivered in a modern clinic space, the Health Clinic by Shoppers is uniquely positioned to provide high-quality, patient-centred healthcare to Canadians.”
The convenience and dependability associated with Shoppers Drug Mart makes it highly attractive to Canadians. With almost 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy, and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone ‘The Beauty Clinic by Shoppers’ locations.
The new medical clinics aim to drive consumer loyalty to Shoppers Drug Mart amid intense competition. Edmonton-based Rexall has expanded with stores across the country and other players are also looking to gain market share. Other retailers such as Walmart have also introduced walk-in clinics to some stores which have seen success in terms of patients using in-store pharmacies while also shopping for other goods while on site.
Shoppers Drug Mart has also introduced other non-retail offerings to its stores to gain consumer following. Last year we reported that the retailer had introduced dental centres to its stores in a partnership with SmileDirect Club. In the fall of 2017, Shoppers Drug Mart also launched a seniors-focused ‘Wellwise’ concept store in Toronto that aims to to keep the country’s aging population healthy and active.
Shoppers Drug Mart remains the largest drug store chain in Canada, and has also innovated by opening full-service grocery stores in some locations in an effort to increase foot traffic as well as frequency of visits. The company’s Loblaw PC Optimum Rewards loyalty program has also said to be highly successful after an initially bumpy rollout in early 2018.