Growing ‘Medtail’ Sector Supercharged by Pandemic’s Effects, Study Finds
New research by Tether Advisors also shows bullish sentiment for sector’s growth over the next year
CHICAGO (December 22, 2020) – Even before COVID-19, medical clinics were increasingly popping up in retail strips, shopping centers and around busy commercial offices across the country. But that trend – known as “medtail” – has accelerated as a result of the pandemic.
That’s according to the 2021 Retail Healthcare Outlook, released today by Tether Advisors, a firm founded in 2020 with a focus on national real estate consultation for the pioneers, innovators and category leaders in the medtail field. The new report is the culmination of Tether research over the second half of 2020 that queried 120 executives who work in private equity, commercial real estate and retail healthcare as well as 100 consumers.
“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 ailments.
The report also more fully examines what’s behind medtail’s upward trajectory, how different stakeholders define the convenience that’s crucial to the sector’s growth, medtail’s potential across age groups and types of care, and medtail trends related to value-based care, preventative care and omnichannel approaches. The top findings include:
• Pandemic Buoys Medtail Growth: Seventy-six 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 Important – but Misunderstood: 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.
• Consumers Still Cloudy on Other Concepts: 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.
• Demographic Breakdown: 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.
“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.”
A full version of the report is available here.
About Tether Advisors
Tether Advisors is a Real Estate Advisory firm specializing in managing the expansion strategy and real estate needs of the tenants that herald/announce the changing face of retail space, most notably health and wellness brands. From the nascent innovators to the established category leaders, Tether Advisors tailors their client representation in concert with their national network of expert partners.
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