CVS Pharmacy introduces health-and-wellness vending machines

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy is rolling out a new way for busy patients to easily buy on-the-go necessities. The company on Thursday introduced its automated retail vending machines, which contain such necessities as over-the-counter health products, better-for-you snacks and popular personal care products, and will be used as a vehicle to showcase products from the company’s exclusive store brands while meeting customers at well-trafficked areas.

“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” CVS Pharmacy SVP front store business and chief merchant Judy Sansone said. “Our new CVS Pharmacy vending machine program allows us to extend that convenience beyond our brick-and-mortar locations to offer customers on-the-go essentials in the locations where they often need them most, like airports, hotels and other transportation hubs."

By the end of October, 25 CVS Pharmacy vending machines will pop up throughout New England and New York at such targeted areas as airports, including New York City’s LaGuardia; public transit stations, including Boston’s South Station Bus Terminal; office parks and college campuses. CVS Health said that in addition to the initial 25 machines, it is considering more than 50 more across the country on college campuses, corporate offices, hotels and other transportation hubs.

Each vending machine will be customized by location and contain more than 70 products — many of which are sourced from CVS Pharmacy’s exclusive store brands, including CVS Health, Beauty 360, Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem abound.

"These new vending machines allow us to make our innovative CVS Brand products available to customers outside of our store locations for the very first time," CVS Health VP store brands and quality assurance Cia Tucci said. "The CVS Pharmacy vending machines will be located in places where we can bring our customers smart solutions and convenient access to the products they trust when they are on-the-go."

OTC remedies will include allergy, pain relief, digestive health and cough-cold products, and machines will sell beauty and personal care items that include shaving cream, deodorant and makeup remover. They also will carry vitamins and supplements, eye care and oral health care products, sleep products, children’s health and first aid products, healthy snacks and drinks. Other essentials included will be batteries, phone chargers, earbuds, lint rollers and stain removal sticks.

The vending machines will accept all major debit and credit cards and feature a 22-in. multi-touch screen, high-resolution images with product information and a QR code reader to allow for scanning of barcodes and promotional codes. They also will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing those in wheelchairs to fully access the touchscreen and its functionality.

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