As one of the country’s largest private employers, Walmart is already a formidable player in health care, bringing its considerable clout to hold down hospitalization and other medical costs. Some hospitals expressed concern that Walmart could expand and fortify its bargaining power, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Retail analysts had mixed reactions to the report. Cowen & Co. called the deal “compelling,” especially in light of the opportunity to “upgrade access to customer data and drive store traffic and sales, according to comments emailed to Retail Dive. GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders also noted the entry to customer data and the opportunity inherent in the sector’s massive inefficiencies.