CVS’ new concept is about the health of its customers
For years, CVS has been clear that its primary marketing focus is that of a provider of health services and products. Now, the drugstore chain is looking to bring that concept to life with a new store format even more focused on the health of its customers.
Next year, with the acquisition of health insurer Aetna finalized, CVS will begin opening concept stores focused on improved healthcare outcomes and reduced costs, according to CNBC. The new concept will focus on such elements as optimizing and expanding primary care, helping in disease management and reducing hospital readmissions by offering ongoing patient guidance. CVS will initially focus on meeting the needs of Aetna members, but hopes to eventually expand beyond that. It also plans to roll out the most successful, scalable offerings to all of its mainline stores.
In 2014, CVS was the first major retail pharmacy chain to discontinue the sale of tobacco. The retailer has since taken other steps to make good on the promise of promoting healthy behaviors. Last year, CVS announced a redesign that expanded its selection of better-for-you foods while moving the candy aisle and delisting foods containing trans fats.
At the same time, CVS has been improving its beauty section, piloting a Millennial-focused store-within-a-store called BeautyIRL, which offers styling services and a makeup try-on bar.
It’s not clear if the new store concept will have any element of the grocery/HBC selection that is found in CVS’ mainline stores or if it will be a pure healthcare environment. If the latter, it seems as though the future of CVS could have two distinct sides; one concept dedicated to healthcare services and the other to convenience store and beauty products.
The announcement comes in the wake of main competitor Walgreens having announced in April its own overhauled, medical services-focused store concept. The Walgreens concept, slated to launch as a pilot between six and 18 months before a broader rollout, will bring all of the most successful medical services the chain has launched disparately under one roof.
- CVS to test stores with more health services after Aetna deal closes – CNBC
- Has CVS gone too far with its health kick? – RetailWire
- CVS Pharmacy Unveils Enhanced Customer Experience, New Store Design – CVS Health
- Will a new beauty concept help CVS pull shoppers from Sephora and Ulta? – RetailWire
- Walgreens focuses on healthcare services in new store format – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can CVS do to differentiate its health services concept from Walgreens’ new concept and vice versa? Do you think CVS would be better served separating its new health services concept into a distinct format while operating its drugstore format separately?