Target made for health and wellness brands Sept 2015 THHealth is where we live, work, play, pray, learn, and increasingly, shop. The new Retail Health goes well beyond the pure-play pharmacy. Part of Target’s re-imagined market positioning is in this expanding sweet-spot as healthcare morphs from institutional providers like hospitals and doctors’ offices to the community.

Don’t think pharmacy’s not important: it will remain a core business and revenue center in retail health. But that business is fast-changing, as the role of pharmacy benefits management companies change, more (expensive) specialty drug benefits come out of pipeline and into the market, and health insurance continues to shift financial risk to the growing cohort of health consumers in America.

This last point is driving people toward retail health, and Target seeks to be part of this Zeitgeist. Note the brands featured in its press release which was titled, “Target’s 2015 Expanded Made to Matter Collection is a Wellness Win. ”

Target extends the wellness paradigm from food to home making brands like the Meyer’s Clean Day, Method and Seventh Generation (long carried at Whole Foods), along with goods from the health & beauty aisle like Yesto, the FreshPet brand for pets (a growing premium consumer category), and baby products from Babyganics, Olly, and Paddy’s Bathroom.

Target is also trying to walk-the-talk with its own employees, working with Fitbit on a corporate wellness initiative which I talked about here in Health Populi in Fitbit Means Business When It Comes To Privacy. The company launched a smoking cessation program in January 2015 to coincide with New Year’s Resolutions to quit smoking (Quit by Design). And, Target has a Pinterest-like website where the company corrals all of its wellness and health-oriented posts.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  As many consumers trust large retail to help them manage their health as they do health care providers. This stunning data point is one I’m proffering in my speech-making and client research these days, and it’s getting legacy healthcare providers’ attention. Hospitals and physicians, pharma and health insurance companies must respond to this patient perspective; those who do not will decline in market relevance among those consumers who are joining the higher out-of-pocket, self-insured world of higher-and-higher deductibles.

Target Maternity GraphicOne of the smartest of Target’s initiatives in health focuses on Moms, highlighted in its June 2015 press release, Target Debuts Dedicated In-Store Maternity Wellness Destination for Moms. Along with the baby-oriented wellness brands discussed above, this “destination” for mothers will curate “trusted ‘go-to’ brands for mommy-related ails,” such as Jessica Alba’s very popular The Honest Company.

Women determine the vast majority of household spending; they also do so for healthcare spending.