Brentwood, Tenn. Retail-based clinic operator The Little Clinic has stated for the first time that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of grocery chain Kroger.
According to a report by Drug Store News, in 2008, it was announced that Kroger had made an investment of an undisclosed amount into The Little Clinic. The investment, at that time, was described as "significant." Private equity firm Solera Capital had acquired The Little Clinic's predecessor in 2005.
The news comes as The Little Clinic exits five markets and shutters five additional locations in three markets.
Sources believe that these latest closures are the result of the change in ownership.
In a statement sent to Drug Store News, The Little Clinic confirmed that it has exited five markets – Indianapolis; Houston; Toledo, Ohio; Detroit and Richmond, Va. -- and closed five additional clinics in three markets, effective April 2. With these closings, Kroger and The Little Clinic stated that they are focusing on "strengthening the business model to better service the healthcare needs of customers in an affordable, convenient manner."
The Little Clinic, based in Brentwood, Tenn., will continue to operate clinics in Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Denver; Knoxville, Tenn.; Lexington, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Phoenix. The company will revisit expansion plans for 2011 and beyond once it completes the process of streamlining its operations.
The Little Clinic opened its doors in 2003 with its first two clinics in Kroger supermarkets in Louisville.