US pharmacy chain CVS Health is rolling out a radical new store design that repositions it to take advantage of a major societal shift in thinking about health.
CVS, which operates 9,600 stores, is responding to a broad health retail trend that has seen the market for preventative, health-and-wellness ‘self-care’ products growing three times faster than over-the-counter ‘sick care’ items.
The new CVS Pharmacy store design aims to enhance the customer experience with a new assortment of healthier food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections paired with informational signage throughout the store to help customers discover new offerings.
“Pharmacy is the heart of our business and our focus on providing care to patients and customers defines everything we do in our stores,” said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice President, CVS Health. “Our new retail offerings leverage our deep expertise in health to enhance our customers’ shopping experience.”
The new store formats and deeper focus on expanded health, healthier food and beauty assortments are described by CVS as “key elements of the next phase of the front-store growth strategy, which was first introduced in 2015”. There are already there are over 800 CVS Pharmacy locations across the US with this “elevated design and assortment” and over 3,400 with expanded food and beauty offerings.
CVS Pharmacy says it will roll out its retail refresh to around 70 new and existing stores this year, with plans to expand to several hundred more in 2018. The new, health-focused formats have 100 feet of new merchandise in health, beauty and healthier food and use a streamlined layout to highlight themes that make shopping easier.
The retail operator says that a “vastly expanded” health offer – incorporating vitamins and supplements, better-for-you food options and natural beauty products – is part of a business transitioning from ‘sick care’ to self-care’.
“The retail operator says that a “vastly expanded” health offer – incorporating vitamins and supplements, better-for-you food options and natural beauty products – is part of a business transitioning from ‘sick care’ to self-care’”
The development has led to US retail analysts suggesting that CVS has ambitions to be the ‘Whole Foods of drug store retailing’. Writing in Forbes, Barbara Thau commented: “CVS Health is staging a makeover that seems intent on creating an entirely new retail category in the US: a national health-and-wellness drugstore chain”.