When National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson earlier this year at NACDS Annual urged pharmacy leaders to be “disruptive innovators,” and new NACDS chairman and Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson called on the industry to embrace a holistic view of the total store in improving patient lives, they easily could have submitted Walgreens and its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary as an ideal case study.
A vast army of some 70,000 Walgreens pharmacists, technicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, and other clinicians is poised to plug some of the gaps in the nation’s overstretched healthcare system with expanded services, greater access for patients and new solutions for providers and payers in desperate need of quality, cost-effective solutions.
Walgreens has really helped to transform why consumers shop a drug store with its position in healthier-for-you foods and fresh produce. That’s not just thinking outside of the box for traditional retail pharmacy operators; that’s throwing out the box altogether and replacing it with an in-store food pyramid.
With an army of 26,000-plus beauty advisers, the expansion of the LOOK Boutique concept, the expertise from its online beauty engine Beauty.com and the Walgreens-Alliance Boots transaction, Walgreens is giving the U.S. mass market beauty world a makeover like no other.
For the more than 100 years that Walgreens has been in operation, the company has been focused on helping its customers, communities and patients feel well. And now, it is poised to transform the traditional drug store into a health and daily living destination.
"You’ve got to skate to where the puck is going, not to where it’s been.” That’s how Bryan Pugh, who is Walgreens’ VP and chief merchandising officer, described how the merchandising department functions at Walgreens.
In June, Walgreens announced a two-step investment in a strategic partnership with Alliance Boots, to acquire a 45% equity stake in the privately held company for $6.7 billion in cash and stock in the first step with the option to acquire the other 55% approximately three years down the road at what is today being projected to be another $9.5 billion price tag in cash and stock.
A carrot, a stick and a face-to-face encounter. Those are the tools that will chisel away at healthcare costs, noted Wade Miquelon, Walgreens EVP and CFO. And Walgreens is uniquely positioned to help realize those savings.