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Walmart to close all health centers

News
Article

The retail giant is calling it quits after five years attempting to revolutionize retail healthcare.

walmart | © sundryphotography - stock.adobe.com

© sundryphotography - stock.adobe.com

Walmart is ending its foray into healthcare by closing all of its branded health centers June 28 citing the lack of “a sustainable business model.”

The retail giant announced it would close all 51 health centers and virtual health offerings across five states in a news release back in April. The move to actually shutter the centers follows the winding down of Walmart Health Virtual Care on May 31. Walmart entered the health care space in 2019.

Walmart said the decision will not impact the thousands of pharmacies and vision centers the organization runs.

“While we will no longer operate health centers, we will take what we learned as we provide trusted health and wellness services across the country through our nearly 4,600 Pharmacies and more than 3,000 Vision Centers,” the release says.

A failing trend

Walmart was part of a large push amongst retail businesses attempting to enter the health care space. Most of which have been met with similar results.

Earlier this year, Amazon eliminated hundreds of positions within its Pharmacy and One Medical divisions. One Medical was Amazon’s foray into employer-based primary care, teaming up with major employers to offer health care and expanding the service to Prime members. Amazon bought One Medical in February for $3.9 billion and announced discounted memberships for Prime users in November.

In a memo to employees, Neil Lindsay, the leader of Amazon Health Services, said: “As we continue to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy, we have identified areas where we can reposition resources so we can invest in invention and experiences that have a direct impact on our customers and members of all ages. Unfortunately, these changes will result in the elimination of a few hundred roles across One Medical and Amazon Pharmacy.”

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