Walmart Sets Its Sights On Mental Health Care

By Beth Leipholtz 09/04/19

This clinic is the first of its kind for the retail behemoth, but if successful, could be the first of many. 

Image: 
Walmart

There’s a new resource for mental health in Dallas, Georgia—and it’s a bit unexpected. 

Recently, Walmart announced it would be opening a new clinic called Walmart Health, debuting in the Georgia town and set to open sometime this month. 

According to CNBC, the idea is to provide “comprehensive and low-cost primary care.” Among the services to be provided are primary care, dental care, counseling, labs, x-rays and audiology. The clinic will be housed in a building next to Walmart in order to provide more privacy for patients. 

According to a Walmart spokesperson, there will be a focus on accessibility and affordability with the new clinic. 

“Walmart is committed to making healthcare more affordable and accessible for customers in the communities we serve,” the representative said. “The new Walmart Health center in our Dallas, Georgia, store will provide low, transparent pricing for key health services for local customers. We look forward to sharing more details when the facility opens next month.”

While this specific move is new for Walmart, the store isn’t a stranger to providing for those in need of health care. CNBC reports that the retailer is home to one of the largest pharmacies in the country, with locations in about 4,700 of its stores. According to the company itself, health and wellness made up about 9% ($36 billion) of its $332 billion in sales in the U.S. in the last fiscal year. 

While mental health is a relatively new market for the retailer, this won't be the first time Walmart has housed mental health care. For example, space for a behavioral health company was leased in a Texas store in 2018 because of a shortage in the area. 

Walmart has also opened Care Clinics in various states in the past, but those have been housed in the actual store rather than in a separate space. 

Part of the reasoning for the retailer branching out, Business Insider explains, is due to competition, specifically as Amazon has transformed the retail market. Now, traditional retailers are having to think outside the box in terms of what else they can offer customers. 

"We all want to exist in 10 years," Marcus Osborne, Walmart’s vice president of health and wellness transformation, told Business Insider last October. "None of us wants to be Sears."

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

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