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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy has unveiled a new store format designed to enhance the retail customer experience.
The new format features an assortment of healthier food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections paired with informational signage throughout the store to help customers find new offerings. Combined with its innovative digital programs, the changes represent the next evolution of the customer experience at CVS Pharmacy, the company said.
"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 for CVS Health. "Our new retail offerings leverage our deep expertise in health to enhance our customers' shopping experience. The same guiding principles that led to the removal of tobacco from our stores extend to our commitment to deliver the most innovative health and beauty solutions."
This new store format puts a deeper focus on expanded health, healthier food and beauty assortments, and is a key element of the next phase of CVS’s front-store growth strategy, which was introduced in 2015. Today, more than 800 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide feature this elevated design, and more than 3,4000 stores include expanded food and beauty offerings.
CVS Pharmacy will roll out major changes to as many as 70 new and existing stores this year, with plans to expand to several hundred more in 2018. The new formats have 100-feet of new merchandise in health, beauty and healthier food and use a streamlined layout to highlight themes that make the shopping experience easier called “discovery zones.”
The latest improvements are designed to drive growth in categories that are most closely tied to the company's health-focused purpose and expertise, while delivering a shopping experience that no other online or brick-and-mortar retailer can replicate, CVS stated.
"We did a lot of research to understand how to best serve our customers as we began to reimagine our store experience and we found that people are thinking about their health differently and taking a more proactive approach to staying well," said Judy Sansone, senior vice president, front store business and chief merchant. "With that in mind, we crafted a new shopping journey, all in the name of better health."
As part of its commitment to better serve its customers, CVS is addressing the demand for healthier foods. The retailer has added more better-for-you options, including 27 new items under the exclusive Gold Emblem Abound product line. Healthier choices like Alo Exposed Waters, EPIC bison bars and That’s It. bars will make up approximately 50 percent of all food options in the store, according to the company.
Additionally, products that meet nutritional and dietary preferences — like heart healthy, good source of protein, gluten free, sugar free, organic and non-GMO project verified — are highlighted with shelf tags. This summer, the tags will expand into non-food categories, making it easier for customers to choose these items.
In addition to the in-store changes, the mobile experience and ExtraCare Rewards program continue to evolve, offering more ways for customers to order products online and pick them up with CVS Curbside. With the CVS Pay app, customers can purchase products via the mobile app, manage their ExtraBucks Rewards, personalized deals, and use manufacturer coupons.
"Our strategy for our new stores is not one-size-fits-all. We will continue to evolve the store experience as we test and learn in order to meet the needs of our customers in the ever-changing retail landscape," added Foulkes. "As we identify key elements that resonate, such as new product assortments, health services and other in-store experiences, we will find ways to bring them to life in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide."
The catalyst for the evolution of CVS Pharmacy’s retail stores was the company’s decision in 2014 to stop selling tobacco.
CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, operates 9,700 locations nationwide.