Will CVS’ sales take off in airports?
The headline on a CVS Pharmacy press release claims the drugstore chain is thinking “outside the box” with its newest tactic to drive sales of over-the-counter (OTC) remedies and other products sold at the front end of the its stores. The solution is the placement of automated vending machines that the chain will place in locations that are outside of where CVS traditionally operates.
“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” said Judy Sansone, senior vice president of front store business & chief merchant at CVS Pharmacy, in a statement. “Our new CVS Pharmacy vending machine program allows us to extend that convenience beyond our brick-and-mortar locations to offer customers on-the-go essentials in the locations where they often need them most.”
Each unit will have its product selection tailored to meet the needs of customers in the areas where they are place. The retailer plans to sell its own store brands across a wide variety of categories including beauty and personal care, OTC medicine for adults and kids, vitamins and supplements, healthy snacks and beverages, and general merchandise items such as batteries, earbuds and phone chargers.
“These new vending machines allow us to make our innovative CVS Brand products available to customers outside of our store locations for the very first time,” said Cia Tucci, vice president of store brands and quality assurance at CVS Health.
The vending machines feature a 22-inch multi-touch screen with high-res images, product information and a QR code reader for barcodes and promotions. The machines have been designed to allow access to people in wheelchairs. It accepts credit and debit cards as well as cash.
CVS is not the first retailer to look to extend its reach using vending units. Uniqlo, the Japanese fashion chain, began rolling out vending units last month at 10 airports and malls in the U.S. The units, which sell clothing basics, are intended to provide insights into what consumers are looking to buy without a major investment by the chain. Best Buy, which operates 183 vending units, has reported generating millions of dollars in revenues from machines located at airports.
- CVS Pharmacy Thinks “Outside the Box” with Introduction of Health and Wellness Vending Machines – CVS Pharmacy
- Can vending units help Uniqlo achieve success in the U.S.? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect CVS to be successful with its use of vending units at airports, bus stations, college campuses, etc.? What do you think about the chain’s decision to emphasize private label in the machines?