Walmart, Kohl’s And Big Drug Chains Look For Wealth From Health
Who knew that a key to retail health and wellness was health and wellness itself?
More and more retailers are expanding their efforts in providing goods and services to keep both their customers and their bottom lines healthy. While CVS may have been the first to discover this hook years ago more recently big national chains like Walmart WMT -0.5%, Kohl’s, Rite-Aid and Walgreens WBA -8.9% are all upping their game in this area.
Of course COVID is the new driver of this movement as infections reach record numbers in what is stretching into the ninth month of the pandemic in the U.S. Attention to personal well-being and safety has taken on new dimensions far beyond just wearing masks and using disinfectants.
But this has been building for years. Both the aging baby boomers and the now largest demographic in the country, the millennials, are increasingly focusing on their health. CVS, the big national drug chain, is generally acknowledged to have been the first big retailer to recognize this when it rebranded itself as CVS Health in 2014, at the same time stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products. That decision, impacting an estimated $2 billion in annual sales, redefined the store and has helped it take a lead position in the health movement.
Now, others are catching on…and catching up. Walmart may be the most aggressive national chain working the health business. A year ago it opened its first Walmart Health clinic store-in-store department in Georgia and has followed that up with five additional units in the state and one in Arkansas. Another seven more Georgia locations as well as two in Chicago are in the works to open by early next year. Florida, including the Jacksonville market, are next on the schedule for 2021
Forbes.com, Warren Shoulberg