Walgreens focuses on healthcare services in new store format
The last time Walgreens revamped its look and feel, the chain was opening flagships and implementing new store features that added elements of grocery — even higher-end grocery — to the pharmacy experience. Now Walgreens is planning an overhauled store format built around healthcare services and partnerships.
In-store lab services, optical care and enhanced patient care offerings handled through partnerships with companies like MedExpress — features that have been piloted in some stores already — will all appear under one roof in the new format, according to Drug Store News. The first implementations will come in the spring or early summer with plans to pilot the new format between six and 18 months before rolling it out across the retailer’s store footprint.
Changes have been coming to the brick-and-mortar pharmacy world as retailers work to become more convenient and tech-enhanced, possibly due to concerns that Amazon may be planning to move into the prescription drug business.
CVS, for instance, began rolling out next-day and same-day prescription delivery service last year in select markets. And both Walgreens and CVS recently announced partnerships with Blue Cross to cover the cost of Lyft rides in select markets, so that people without access to reliable transportation can fill their prescriptions in-store. And Walgreens has had a great deal of success with its mobile pharmacy app, designed to be user-friendly for the older audience that uses it.
Walgreens has also piloted some new services outside of the pharmacy recently. Last year it began offering FedEx drop-off and pickup services at some locations with an eye towards an expanded rollout. It’s not clear if this service will be rolled into the planned store overhaul.
The two main drugstore chains may have even more competition coming their way. Walmart has been in preliminary talks about a potential merger with insurance giant Humana, according to CNBC.
- Walgreens sheds additional light on new store formats – Drug Store News
- How will Walgreens benefit from its FedEx dropoff/pickup deal? – RetailWire
- Is the $400 billion prescription drug business ripe for an Amazon disruption? – RetailWire
- Did Walgreens and Rite Aid just work out a better deal for their businesses? – RetailWire
- Partnership gives a free Lyft to pharmacy customers – RetailWire
- How is Walgreens getting older shoppers to use its mobile app? – RetailWire
- Why Walmart may have designs on Humana, and what it thinks it could get from a deal – CNBC
- Walgreens Debuts Flagship with Sushi Bar, Smoothies, Wine, Coffee Bar and More – Eater Chicago
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Walgreens in need of a store redesign? Is focusing on healthcare services and partnerships, rather than building out the CPG side of the equation like it did during its last revamp, the path to success for Walgreens?