WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Three years ago, CVS Health jettisoned tobacco. This week, the drugstore chain announced it would shrink its selection of junk food and general merchandise to focus on healthy foods and health products, USA Today reports. Executives said the new format would be in place at several hundred stores by the end of next year.
While the stores will still carry chips, candy and sugared-sweetened beverages, CVS is reorienting 100 feet of aisle shelving per store to house makeup free of harmful chemicals, natural supplements and nutritious food bars. The company will scale back on seasonal products and general items, which have seen falling sales due to competition from Amazon.com.
The redesign has already been implemented in 800 of its 9,700 locations, with the redesigned stores seeing a 2.5% sales increase on average. “It's a whole reimagined store design,” said CVS Pharmacy division President Helena Foulkes.
“They’re looking to do this because they want to remain relevant with their customers and be viewed as a local destination for healthy products and items and help fulfill their customers’ health needs,” said Joe Agnese, an analyst at CFRA Research. “It helps them keep up with what everybody else is doing.”
The change will move impulse candy items from the checkout counter, and replacing it would be organic foods, protein bars and sugar-free products. “We’re doing this because this is actually what customers want. This is what they’re buying,” said Judy Sansone, senior vice president for the front store business and chief merchant.