Walgreens’ latest brand position, part 1 (Wellness)

Here’s the first of two back-to-back Retail Wire comments about Walgreens’ emerging strategy. In this case, they are talking about their “wellness” brand positioning, which makes sense to me. Here’s why:

The more successfully a store like Walgreens can position itself as “wellness headquarters,” the greater the opportunity to recapture pharmacy market share from discounters. After all, chronic disease management (such as diabetes) allows Walgreens to cultivate customer loyalty in a very lucrative way. There is a lot of money to be spent on diabetes supplies and medications, for the consumer who is also visiting the Take Care Clinic (or wellness center) for advice on diet and exercise and for routine blood screening.

Walgreens has a unique challenge rising to this opportunity: There is too much clutter and overassortment throughout the store, and the front-of-store experience is not exactly consistent with the “wellness” concept unless you like candy and cigarettes! Let’s hope that Walgreens moves forward with its initiative on SKU reduction in order to make “wellness” a credible brand position.

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