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Photo courtesy of NRF.

CVS Health and CVS Pharmacy has long been a retail leader in many ways, and enhancing the customer experience is now at the top of its strategy to-do list, to the point it’s even redesigning store layout to best meet consumer needs.

The quest for the nation’s largest drugstore chain, according to Executive Vice President and President Helena Foulkes, is focused on one point.

“I think we’re all are looking for a consumer-oriented experience in healthcare,” she shared during a talk at the recent NRF “Big Show” at the Javits Conference Center in New York City. CVS has 9,600 stores across the U.S.

Foulkes’ insight comes on the heels of one of the biggest news announcements in the pharmacy and healthcare sector. In December of 2017, CVS announced it is merging with powerhouse healthcare provider Aetna and plans to “remake the consumer health care experience,” according to a press release.

That merger, she said, will drive ‘health hubs’ within CVS locations that will provide concierge service to store customers. At the same time, CVS is heavily investing in revamping stores to best meet customer needs — even revamping the size of aisle displays to make shopping easier.

The typical CVS customer is a woman who stands at about five feet, four inches tall and is viewed by CVS as the chief medical officer of the family unit. So displays are even being redesigned given the customer’s height.

“Our goal is to be there when consumers need us and to provide a seamless experience,” said Foulkes, who made it clear she’s very excited about what CVS is doing for consumers and its continued adoption of emerging technologies to boost the customer experience.

“There is tremendous change and I’ve always loved it,” Foulkes said, alluding to technology advancement and challenges, adding “it can be stressful, but to me, that’s what is so exciting.”

The excitement is most likely due to the fact CVS is succeeding at what every retailer is wrestling with — integrating the digital experience within the brick-and-mortar experience.

At the same time, CVS is busy moving forward with free next-day delivery (which launched in December of 2017 in Manhattan) and pushing ahead on digital tools such as SMS, text and mobile app capabilities.

“We are embracing all those things to make the shopping experience all it can be,” said Foulkes. “We’re making the largest investment to date, and at the end of the day, it’s all about trust and confidence, and we’re making sure our stores reflect that.”

Posted with permission from

Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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