Perhaps the iconic scene at the end of Ridley Scott’s 1991 movie “Thelma & Louise” — with Gina Davis’ and Susan Sarandon’s characters hurdling into the Grand Canyon in a green convertible — is a good metaphor for what’s happening in the generic drug industry these days.
In the classic Arabian Nights tale “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” the sorcerer who sold Aladdin the lamp containing the genie attempts to get it back by walking through the town where Aladdin and his wife live disguised as a merchant, trading “new lamps for old.”
Increased attention was given to Walmart’s multichannel efforts in this year’s supplier survey — and for good reason. Amazon.com is now in a virtual dead heat with the dollar store channel in terms of the retailer/channel that suppliers view as the most significant competitive threat.
Continued growth and increased competition from Amazon.com and the dollar stores. Improved in-stock levels offset by questionable in-store execution. Reduced buyer turnover and senior executives receptive to trading partner views.
Walmart’s pharmacy footprint is poised for its most meaningful expansion in decades, thanks to shifting capital expenditure priorities that have begun to favor more aggressive expansion of smaller stores.
While CVS/pharmacy’s store clustering initiatives and store brands are fueling front-store profitability, there’s no doubt that its successful, long-standing ExtraCare loyalty program remains a key driver of front-store sales, and it arms the company with a powerful competitive advantage, especially as CVS looks to take the program to new heights.
With healthcare reform on track to bring 32 million more Americans into the healthcare system in 2014, and with payers and patients looking for solutions to curb costs as the nation battles a shortage of primary care physicians and access to quality care, CVS Caremark’s role in reinventing pharmacy through its distinctive business model couldn’t be more imperative than it is today.