NEW YORK — Jim Cramer on Thursday shared his bullishness on Walgreens' stock with viewers of his "Mad Money" investment advice program on CNBC during a discussion and personal tour of Walgreens' new flagship location smack in the middle of the money-makers on Wall Street. Cramer's not just a fan of Walgreens stock — he visits that new Duane Reade/Walgreens prototype two to three times per week. That makes it his personal neighborhood drug store.
"Part of my routine … is to come down to Wall Street every single morning, do my show here," Cramer said after introducing Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson during an on-location interview for his show. "I walk by this store, I was blown away and I realized you are reinventing the drug store format."
"What you're seeing here is a true transformation from what we call the traditional retail drug store to a retail health and daily living destination," Wasson responded. The new format features the best Walgreens has to offer in terms of on-site health care. "We're extending the scope of services that our pharmacists offer, but we're also co-locating doctors on premise and nurse practitioners on premise to extend the services that we can offer in community pharmacies," he added. Such services as on-demand immunizations and on-site acute care. "We're beginning to look at where health care's going, and you're actually going to see healthcare reform in action back here," Wasson told Cramer, motioning toward the pharmacy. "We're improving access, quality of care and lowering costs across the country with this kind of a concept."
Wasson also shared with Cramer the other important touchpoints Walgreens has with its consumers, such as its multichannel outreach through Walgreens.com and drugstore.com, and with its commitment to establish fresh and healthy food destinations in urban food deserts — where fresh food is not conveniently available to local communities. Other points of interest: Wasson assured Cramer that the Duane Reade Doctor on Premise was a profit and revenue stream, not just a loss-leading traffic driver. And Walgreens has been super successful with its "Up Market" department specifically catering to the local community, in this case Wall Street.