Are doc’ shops the new high street staple?


High street stores are set to be overtaken by doc shops as
phenomena known as “medtail’ becomes the new retail norm.

That’s according to the 2021 Retail Healthcare Outlook
released by retail consultants, Tether Advisors, which predicts an acceleration
of the trend in high street medical retail as a result of the COVID pandemic.

“COVID-19 has sped up the inevitability that preventative wellness is no longer a choice,” said Willie Hoag, principal at Tether Advisors.


“The retail space is overbuilt, mediocre and redundant. The innovation we’ve seen directed at that space is just the beginning. It’s exciting that a new group of players is filling former retail spots while providing access and convenience to consumers. Most importantly, the convergence could make us a healthier society.”

Tether’s study found that nearly 80 percent of private
equity, commercial real estate and retail healthcare respondents believe
medtail investment will increase in the coming year and that COVID-19 bolstered
the sector’s outlook.

That’s driven by investors who are looking for safe bets
amid a pandemic-induced recession as well as consumers increasing emphasis on
preventative care as they work to stay ahead of the coronavirus and other

The report found that 76 percent of private equity,
commercial real estate and retail healthcare respondents believe COVID-19 has
positively impacted retail healthcare as an investment target. Commercial real
estate was the most bullish at 85percent.

Convenience is a key driver when it comes to medtail’s
growth, but the different stakeholders surveyed don’t agree on how to define it
in this context. Thirty-nine percent of consumers pointed to shorter wait
times, a choice that was far less popular among other groups.

Some consumer education about medtail appears necessary.
While nearly two-thirds could define preventative care, just 27 percent could
define value-based care. But a strong majority of consumers said both concepts
were important.

The 36-50 age group was seen as the age group most effectively served by a plurality of all stakeholder groups surveyed and by 43 percent overall. Respondents probably figure that medtail’s convenience will be important for busy working parents, or they might be falling back on wishful thinking about an attractive market segment.

Medtail is trend of medical offices leasing space in retail centers and high street shopping corridors.

“The overall bullishness about medtail is encouraging, and
it might actually understate the opportunities we’re seeing,” said Katie
Killeen, vice president of Tether Advisors.

 “Some obstacles
remain – the staffing hurdles most medical retailers face are larger than ever,
which is significant as reliable personnel are the backbone of every concept.
But the larger trends driving medtail that have been turbocharged by COVID-19
clearly have staying power.”

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