Walgreens tests lower prices, membership savings
At 17 stores in the Gainesville, FL area, Walgreens is lowering prices across the board, cutting SKUs and introducing a membership program as part of a pilot program.
At the stores, prices have been lowered on more than 5,000 items across health and beauty, personal care, grocery and household items.
Under the Walgreens Plus program, consumers at those locations who pay a $20 annual fee receive an additional 20 percent off prices storewide — including on sale prices — and savings of up to 60 percent on prescriptions purchased. Walgreens Plus members also will have the option of free, same-day prescription delivery.
Drugstores have long battled perceptions over high pricing while competition is arriving in certain categories from Target’s small-format stores, Aldi, dollar stores and others.
“With lower every day prices and our new Walgreens Plus program, Walgreens is adding a modern approach to value and convenience to our long heritage of trusted local pharmacy expertise and service,” Walgreens chief marketing officer Adam Holyk said in a statement.
The stores will reduce SKU counts per store by at least 20 percent to improve navigation. Alex Gourlay, co-COO of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, told Drug Store News, “People give drug stores roughly seven minutes [of their time]. If you can give them two minutes back, they’re really happy. And in the modern world, more people will order in advance. We’re trying to redefine modern convenience.”
The stores will also feature strategic collaborations to bring new services to customers:
- Eight of the stores will feature Sprint Express shops to enable Walgreen shoppers to purchase mobile phones, switch to Sprint, update their service or pay their bill.
- Walgreens’ package delivery strategic collaboration with FedEx will be extended through an expanded selection of packing and shipping supplies at the Gainesville stores. Customers currently can pick up and drop off packages at more than 7,500 Walgreens locations and have them held for up to five days.
- Walgreens’ existing pilot with LabCorp supporting specimen collection will be expanded to 10 Florida locations, including four in Gainesville.
- Walgreens Pilot Program in Gainesville, Fla., Features New Approaches to Pricing, Promotions, Product Selection and Shopping Experience – Walgreens
- Walgreens launches pilot program in Gainesville, Fla. Stores – Drug Store News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do Walgreens and its drugstore rivals need to become more price competitive? Which aspects of the Gainesville test do you think make the most sense?