Walgreens provides free clinic services

Walgreens reported last week that it plans to offer free services to the unemployed and those otherwise in need at its in-store clinics. I commented briefly on Retail Wire about this development, especially the economic implications for Walgreens:

I’m sure Walgreens considered the bottom-line implications before making this decision, which could have some short-term risk. On the other hand, the program does drive traffic into Walgreens stores; Walgreens must assume in its business models that those customers will buy other merchandise while in the store. (The price paid by the uninsured for prescriptions other than generics is another story.) Most importantly, the PR and goodwill created by this should drive consumer loyalty over the long run, and not just among beneficiaries of the program.

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