While the UK has narrowly avoided a recession, the overall economic prognosis is still somewhat gloomy. That means retailers will have to work harder to bring in shoppers as the squeeze on incomes remains in place.
Since prices have risen so much, providing more value in monetary terms is not easy, however attractive discounting can be. Retail maintenance services can help by giving stores a better look and layout. But these moves can be supplemented by further steps such as adding in-store community facilities.
Asda is seeking to go down this road by adding health services, specifically screening for diabetic eye problems. The store has announced a partnership with InHealth, a specialist screening service that will offer the chances for diabetes sufferers – whose condition makes them more vulnerable to certain eye conditions – to get checked out.
The Asda Healthcare Partnerships Manager Maq Din said the importance of this service made the move “an easy decision and one we hope will make a real difference.” The service has initially been rolled out at 16 stores, with plans for 14 more.
It is not just Asda that is pleased about the prospect of getting more footfall. InHealth managing director Phil Kirby said: “We’re delighted to partner with Asda stores to deliver greater accessibility for patients driving up attendance rates and protecting patients’ sight.”
InHealth’s screening programme already helps save the sight of about 300 people a year through early diagnosis and it may be that further stores will offer similar services, giving people extra reasons to come through their doors and also having a positive impact on the NHS.
For Asda, having an in-store pharmacy makes partnerships of this kind a more natural fit; it meant, for example, the was retailer able to offer incentives for cash rewards for getting discounted flu jabs this winter.
Other retailers without such partnerships in place yet may find they can become an increasingly important part of their offering if they adopt a similar approach.