NEW YORK CVS Caremark's opening of its 7,000th store is important as it is yet another indication of the retailer's strong management, efficient execution and its ability to understand and meet the needs of its shoppers.
Serving more than 4 million customers per day, the $87 billion powerhouse has proven over the years that it is a well-oiled machine. Today, it is aggressively taking an active role on the front lines of healthcare by leveraging its PBM business and MinuteClinics.
The opening of the 7,000th store in Little Canada, Minn., (a state the company already had strong ties to) is no doubt an impressive feat but it is interesting that CVS used the opportunity to also solidify its role as a convenient health care provider by announcing that the state is joining its seasonal flu program.
Nationwide, the retailer is holding more than 9,000 scheduled flu clinics in CVS stores and, as part of the campaign, is providing more than $3 million worth of free seasonal flu shots to unemployed Americans through vouchers good for a free flu shot in any MinuteClinic or any of the scheduled CVS/pharmacy flu clinics.
CVS also handed out flu prevention kits containing CVS brand products like hand sanitizers to the first 100 shoppers at the store.
Now, Minnesota is participating in the company’s free seasonal flu shot program. CVS is partnering with the Department of Employment and Economic Development to provide more than 2,500 vouchers for a free flu shot to the unemployed in Minnesota. The 2,500 vouchers, a $75,000 value, will be distributed through 11 WorkForce Centers in the Twin Cities area.
This initiative underscores the fact community pharmacy is demonstrating the vital role it can play in the U.S. healthcare system as extremists on both sides of the spectrum and argue over the future of health care reform, and what it will look like. And with 7,000 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia, CVS is providing greater choice and more convenience for its customers and, in turn, improving health outcomes.