How CVS is redefining convenience

Nadee Bandaranayake
October 29, 2018
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CVS Pharmacy is a purpose-driven company dedicated to helping people on their path to better health. But that path is rapidly changing, and the company has to change with it.

In this episode of Retail Gets Real, President of CVS Pharmacy Kevin Hourican discusses how the pharmacy and retail business is adapting in the face of a changing industry and, even more importantly, changing customer behaviors.

CVS Pharmacy is two retail businesses: one is a $60 billion pharmacy and the other is a $20 billion retail store operation. Hourican oversees all aspects of the company's retail business, including its nearly 9,800 retail stores and 20 distribution centers, as well as merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store and pharmacy operations.

“We are seeing change in our space accelerating at a very, very rapid rate,” Hourican says. But the goal hasn’t changed over the years. “The purpose of our company is to help people on their path to better health.” New competitive entrants, regulatory reform and shifting consumer expectations keep the CVS teams busy. “We work very hard to be able to be ahead of the needs of our consumers,” Hourican says.

Kevin Hourican at the podcast recording.

Kevin Hourican at the podcast recording.

Historically, CVS has capitalized on convenience — 85 percent of customers in the U.S. live within five miles of a CVS location — but customers’ idea of convenience is evolving. To cater to these new expectations, CVS has introduced home delivery to customers nationwide. “We call it redefining convenience,” Hourican says.

To gain insights that back innovation at the company, the CVS team talks to millions of customers as well as their own pharmacists to find points of friction. One resulting solution is the Pharmacy Savings Finder, which allows pharmacists to help customers save an average of $450 a year when buying medications.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about how the CVS team is innovating, while staying true to their purpose and read three ways CVS is positioned to succeed.

And for more insights from retail’s top leaders, including CEOs from BJ’s Wholesale Club, Levi Strauss & Co., and Target, attend NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show in New York, Jan. 13-15. Learn more and register.

Nadee Bandaranayake is an assistant producer on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.