SHOREVIEW, Minn. — The total number of retail convenient care clinics declined for the first time in June, falling by 12 from 981 to 969, according to Tom Charmond, chief executive officer, Merchants Medicine, a research and consulting company, which publishes the “Merchant Medical News” newsletter. While some operators like Walgreens’ Take Care and the Little Clinic, owned in part by Kroger, increased their numbers, closings noted by Merchants Medicine were SmartCare, which operated 15 clinics in Denver-area Wal-Mart Supercenters; Early Solutions Clinic, which had six clinics in Meijer Detroit stores; and InstaClinic, which had four clinics in Schnuck Markets stores. Other closings in the past year included CornerCare (Vitamin Shoppe), Check-Ups USA (Wal-Mart), Medical Marts (Shop-Ko) and My Healthy Access (Wal-Mart). In addition, MedBasics, which formerly operated in Minyard’s Carnival stores, as well as other retailers, went out of business, while CVS closed several MinuteClinic locations, reporting that it will slow the installation of clinics. The closings have been attributed to slow growth rates at retail and the declining availability of capital.
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