Walgreens Is Striving To Be Seen As A Healthcare Company

According to CNBC, Walgreens is making moves to be seen as more than just a retailer. The company wishes to be seen as a full blown healthcare outlet. Currently, Walgreens is still largely only a pharmacy chain, while competing pharmacy CVS is acquiring insurer Aetna and is already touting its own company as a healthcare outlet that owns a drugstore, pharmacy, and an insurer.

Walgreens hopes to change their purely retailer image to keep up with competition. The company has partnerships with numerous healthcare companies. Some of those companies include insurer Humana, as well as diagnostic company LabCorp in an effort to test new health services in specific stores.

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Stefano Pesssina spoke during an interview with CNBC‘s David Faber at the Net Summit at the New York Stock Exchange recently. During the interview, he elaborated on Walgreens’ plans.

“So you will see that in a few years our stores will be completely different and will give lot of prominence, even in front of stores, to health and beauty.”

His remarks have come in only a day after CVS’ CEO Larry Merlo come forward, saying that CVS does not wish to leave any “white space” for another competing company, Amazon, to “disrupt.”

Investors want drugstores to reinvent their business structure, according to CNBC. This is due to Amazon “stealing sales of everyday items.” Also Amazon is reportedly entering into the prescription drug delivery service via a partnership with online pharmacy, Pillpack. This deal between Pillpack and Amazon shaved off $12.8 billion in the market value from drugstores such as Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid in one day.

Pessina has remarked on this partnership, saying that even Amazon understands that the pharmacy market cannot be only online. In doing so, he cited the acquisition between Amazon and Whole Foods, which affirmed the e-commerce company’s desire to get into a more face-to-face retail environment.

“I don’t say [ours] is the better strategy.I don’t have the arrogance to criticize what our competitors are doing. We are a true health-care company.”

Walgreens was founded 117 years ago and has been in business since 1907, when it was founded in Chicago, Illinois. Currently the company only serves inside the United States and has over 9,000 locations. The headquarters is located in Deerfield, Illinois. In 2014, Walgreens purchased the remaining 55 percent of a Switzerland company known as Alliance Boots, thereby becoming parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance.