More Traditional Healthcare Services Heading to the Mall

Cushman & Wakefield today released a comprehensive white paper entitled "Heading to the Mall for Healthcare?" The paper outlines shifting trends in the healthcare and retail industries which may lead to more traditional healthcare services being delivered at retail malls—well beyond the scope of walk-in clinics which exist in certain drug and department store chains today.

A number of factors are converging that should provide the impetus for healthcare services to occupy what has traditionally been classified as non-service retail space,‖ said Dr. Scott Mason, Executive Managing Director and leader of the company’s Healthcare Practice Group who co-authored the paper together with Matt Winn, leader of the firm’s Retail Services in the Americas.

In recent years, a variety of factors have combined making traditional healthcare service delivery in shopping malls an attractive option for landlords, healthcare service providers, and patients alike,‖ added Mr. Winn.

Dr. Mason and Mr. Winn conclude that changes in the economy, shifts in consumer spending patterns, an aging population, and the rise of e-commerce are all leading to innovative placements of future healthcare delivery sites. Among these shifts, lifestyle changes and the recent economic downturn have dramatically changed a retailing formula that both retailers and consumers have followed profitably for nearly three generations.

Transforming demographics across the U.S. and Canada, an aging baby boomer population of approximately 77 million people in the U.S. alone is choosing to live an urban lifestyle over a suburban one. This is putting significant vacancy pressure on suburban malls. As a result, prominent retail spaces are increasingly being made available for alternative uses as demand patterns change.

Meanwhile, healthcare service providers are beginning to embrace the concept of patients as customers and therefore, retail healthcare establishments could lead to a much needed improvement in the healthcare customer’s experience. Malls offer proximity to population centers, access to highways, and plenty of parking—as well as amenity rich environments for one-stop convenient care. As competition

among consolidated healthcare brands heats up, improvements in the healthcare experience will increasingly serve as a key differentiator among brands.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Healthcare Practice Group provides strategic and transactional real estate services throughout the Americas to health and hospital systems, medical/academic institutions, and MOB owner/operators. The team’s fully integrated services include strategic planning associated with mergers and acquisitions; leasing and sales of health facilities, asset inventory and assessments, property/facilities management, and compliance appraisals.

With more than 25 years of highly relevant experience, Dr. Mason is a well-known healthcare strategy consultant who joined the firm in 2012. He has provided strategic advice and transactional oversight to more than 400 hundred hospital/health system clients in 40 states. A board-certified hospital administrator, he is a frequent speaker on such topics as disruptive innovation, strategic planning, growth, service line management, and experience-based strategy.

Mr. Winn has been involved in billions of dollars in transactions as a trusted partner in the growth, operations and development of many companies throughout his 20-year career. As leader of the Americas retail brokerage platform and the Retail Consulting Group at Cushman & Wakefield, he is responsible for all areas of the business including overall strategy, operations, business development and platform growth.

Eugene McGrane, a broker in the Walnut Creek C&W office also contributed to this article.