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Walgreens is looking to expand its on-demand delivery services, and will seek to do so through a collaboration with Shipt, an online marketplace that offers home delivery.
The company said in an announcement that it would provide access to about 25,000 of its items on Shipt, including over-the-counter medications, beauty, personal care, household and convenience products.
In some cases offering same-day delivery, Walgreens said the move is meant “to put those frantic dashes to the store in the past.”
The wealth of products that will be available on the online platform comprises nearly all of Walgreen’s inventory, and at launch, about 6,300 locations will utilize the service. The chain operates more than 21,000 stores.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
While the pharmacy chain eyes an expansion of its market presence with the partnership – particularly in regards to medications, its bread and butter – Shipt stands to benefit as well, according to Chief Business Officer Rina Hurst.
“Walgreens is such a powerhouse brand that really complements our marketplace,” she said, adding that Shipt Shoppers – employees who purchase and deliver products to users of the Shipt app – are already on hand to begin making same-day deliveries.
Hurst called the Shipt Shoppers the company’s “secret sauce.”
“They’re a huge differentiator for us as a people-first company,” she said. “Our shoppers are an extension of the brands we work with, so we want customers to feel as if they are truly taken care of and given the type of experience that will keep them coming back.”
Shipt will have a national promotion available at the time of launch in which it will offer discounts on larger purchases.
THE LARGER TREND
In October 2021, Walgreens upped its healthcare strategy by launching a new business segment, Walgreens Health. With the launch, the company is doubling down on its consumer-centric healthcare strategy. Walgreens described the new business segment as “a technology-enabled care model powered by a nationally scaled, locally delivered healthcare platform.”
The platform will offer care in-store, at home, in the doctor’s office or via mobile app. It will also partner with payers and providers to give value-based care.
Retail pharmacies such as Walgreens are increasingly becoming a one-stop-shop for consumers’ health and wellness needs, competing against traditional providers. In fact, more than half (51%) of retail pharmacy customers say they’ve used health and wellness services at their pharmacy over the last year, according to the JD Power 2021 US Pharmacy Study.
Based on these shifting consumer needs, a number of other retail companies are placing bets on healthcare. CVS has its own line of primary care clinics, called HealthHUBs, and also recently launched virtual care services.
Walmart has also dipped into healthcare by opening Walmart Health clinics in a number of its stores and selling insurance plans through its licensed insurance brokerage Walmart Insurance Services. Additionally, Walmart Health recently added telehealth capabilities through its acquisition of MeMD.
Even Amazon is getting on the bandwagon with the launch of Amazon Care, a virtual primary care offering, and Amazon Pharmacy, an online pharmacy that delivers to users’ homes.
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