Walgreens’ latest brand position, part 2 (Food)

Here’s the other side of the coin for Walgreens, right after discussing “wellness” as a valid brand statement for a pharmacy chain. A few days later, Retail Wire asked panelists to discuss Walgreens’ plans to enter the fresh/convenient food business in a deeper way. I disagree with the strategy:

Everybody wants “in” on the fresh food C-store business, whether it’s Tesco, Walmart or now Walgreens. This strategy doesn’t align with the “wellness” positioning that RetailWire panelists kicked around only last week. If Walgreens is serious about what it wants to stand for, it needs to get moving on its SKU reduction, clean up its in-store navigation and improve its overall customer experience. I’m not convinced that a section devoted to fresh and prepared food is the answer, unless there is a serious effort to eliminate some of the other businesses (e.g. basic fleece separates) that are tangential to Walgreens’ brand position.

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