CVS has announced an initiative to rebrand their stores as health care destinations. The initiative was originally announced back in February and will be named CVS Health. Cigarette sales will be one of the first casualties of the shift. All 7,700 CVS locations nationwide will no longer sell tobacco products after midnight on September 2.
The company decided that selling cigarettes and other tobacco products did not fit with the new image they were presenting to the public. In some stores, anti-smoking signs will be posted where the tobacco displays used to be. The stores will continue to carry anti-smoking aids and products that could help customers quit their smoking habit.
As the health care industry continues to grow, companies associated with health care and pharmaceuticals are narrowing their focus to capture a larger share of the market. Many of these companies are hoping to reap the benefits of the expansion of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Increasing its association with health care could prove to be very lucrative for the company.
Around 900 CVS stores contain “Minute Clinics,” walk-in medical clinics where customers can go to solve simple heath care needs, like blood pressure tests, sports physicals, and flu vaccines. The clinics are advertised as a way to get necessary services using a convenient method that does not involve the time or the cost of going to the doctor’s office. Some of these clinics are situated in areas that are underserved by traditional health care providers and the lower costs of these clinics make them affordable to many working-class individuals.
More than 40 health systems have entered into partnerships with CVS to operate these clinics. Over the last quarter, CVS has opened 32 more Minute Clinics and anticipates the creation of 150 more over the rest of the year. The company has set the goal of 1,500 clinics opened by 2017.
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