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    Are Drugstores the New Convenience Stores?

    NATIONAL REPORT -- Drugstores are stepping up their game when it comes to expanded offerings, and new research by The Hartman Group suggests this retail channel is making greater strides in the area of convenience, especially in regards to food and beverage purchases.

    According to The Hartman Group's Shopping Topography report, shoppers continue to expand their shopping behavior over multiple formats, demonstrating that food shopping has now become an anytime, anywhere activity. The study found that consumers shop in two modes in all food retail channels: "browse and buy" and "search and retrieve."

    Shoppers visiting drugstores exhibited both behavior modes, with 58 percent saying they browse and buy, which includes an element of surprise and discovery. Another 38 percent said they search and retrieve, which shows these customers want to get in and out of the store quickly.

    These results were the lowest and highest of each shopping style across other primary retail channels including grocery, dollar, club and mass discount. This indicates shoppers have little interest in discovering new products within drugstores and are more interested in getting the job done quickly and efficiently.

    In addition, drugstores are now seen as a highly convenient shopping channel with 24 percent of shopping trips described as immediate consumption occasions, in which food and beverages purchased are consumed within one hour of purchase.

    The Hartman Group cites The Walgreen Co. as the innovation leader in the drug channel, and notes that CVS Caremark and Rite Aid still have room to develop offerings aligned with immediate consumption and other eating occasions that consumers associate with shopping drugstores. Expanded offerings for portable snacks and fresh food will also further drugstores' wellness initiatives, while appealing to more consumers who can browse the selection.

    Click here to watch The Hartman Group's video, "Shopper Insights on Drug Store: Opportunities and Challenges," presented by Senior Associate David Wright.

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