CVS has made the bold decision to stop selling cigarettes in all of their stores, a decision that is costing them an estimated $2 billion dollars. What would cause the corporation to make such a ballsy potentially self-destructive move?
CVS executives decided to rebrand the company and emerge as a more health conscious company. They believe they have a moral responsibility to look after their customers health. But how can a company even as large as CVS, sustain a profit loss as large as $2 billion and continue to grow? The executives at CVS plan to offset their cigarette sale losses with their Minute Clinic services. They have chosen to focus on being part of the healthcare system rather than just a convenience store. CVS CEO Larry Merlo even went so far as to consider the patrons of the store as patients. They really want to make a difference in the health care industry.
These clinics, within the store, offer quick, easy access to a affordable medical professional. With the rise in insurance deductibles, people are just looking for ways to save some money on their healthcare, and these clinics offer customers just that opportunity. The CVS Minute Clinics offer an array of medical services from providing care for bacterial infections to administering annual flu shots. There are currently over 900 of these Minute clinics in place with CVS planning to expand. CVS may have stepped onto a hidden gold mine by bridging the gap that insurance companies and medical facilities have left open when they spiked the health care costs beyond reach for the average American household. The minute clinics offer quick service at a price that doesn’t send people into debt.
Although these changes are happening, CVS patrons need not fear. Just because they have pulled tobacco off their shelves doesn’t mean things are changing too drastically. People will still be able to go to the pharmacy and get the same great service they always have. They will just have to get their tobacco fix elsewhere. Do you think CVS’ decision is going to be a costly mistake or a huge success?