A few months ago, CVS announced a bold move: it stopped selling tobacco in its store.
This move costs CVS quite a bit of revenue, but the goal was to transform the drug and convenience store brand into something that meant more than having a one stop shopping spot for laundry detergent, cigarettes and toothpaste. Instead CVS rechristened itself as CVS Health and decided to move away from retail and into more of a place that implements everything from medical checkups to continuing its flu shots and prescription based knowledge and services.
The switch from all things drug store related to more of a wellness and medical clinic was highly scrutinized and panned by some, mostly due to the idea that CVS was going to walk away from millions of dollars in sales by saying so long to cigarettes.
But credit CVS for sticking to its original idea and plan, and seeing it through. Although the move may prove to be costly, it also did something sensational for the brand: it gave them a sense of purpose, integrity and differentiation from other drug stores who have dabbled in being more than a glorified retail store but never pulled the trigger to do what CVS did.
Granted, CVS Health is taking a risk but deeply rooted in what they're doing is the health and wellness of customers, along with trying to brand the CVS name and stand out in an already crowded field of prescription and retail based stores worldwide. CVS Health could easily be a flop but chances are the idea is going to start that proverbial ball rolling for other drug store chains to start taking a long, hard look at their surrounding shelves and wondering if they might want to follow the game plan and footprint that CVS is walking down at this very moment.
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