CVS is set up 25 vending machines (automated retailing kiosks) in the Northeast, selling everything from makeup remover to healthy snacks to earbuds.CVS has thousands of locations, so adding 25 vending machines won’t move the revenue needle much. However, that’s not why they invested in this form of product distribution. They did it for the brand awareness factor, and that is very valuable.
Millennials love the idea of interactive vending machines. Younger people grew up with text. They just don’t like phone calls. We see it in the appeal of online ordering for groceries and restaurants, and even restaurant concepts like Eatsa, which enables you to get high-quality fast-food really fast, without any human contact. And Walmart is having a lot of success with its pickup towers. People like machines.
According to a company statement, CVS is introducing automated retail vending machines stocked with convenient, on-the-go necessities including over-the-counter health products, “better-for-you” snacks and popular personal care products typically sold at CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. The new vending machines are designed to help maximize convenience and meet customers where they are with on-the-go wellness solutions outside the traditional retail space.
“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” said Judy Sansone, Senior Vice President of Front Store Business & Chief Merchant at CVS Pharmacy. “Our new CVS Pharmacy vending machine program allows us to extend that convenience beyond our brick-and-mortar locations to offer customers on-the-go essentials in the locations where they often need them most, like airports, hotels and other transportation hubs.”
Each vending machine will be customized with offerings to fit each location with more than 70 products to choose from, including many from exclusive CVS Pharmacy store brand lines like CVS Health, Beauty 360, Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem Abound. Products available in the vending machines include:
- Over the counter remedies for allergy, pain relief, digestive health, and cough and cold
- Beauty and personal care products like shaving cream, deodorant, makeup remover
- Vitamins and supplements
- Eye care and oral health care products
- Solutions for healthy sleep such as melatonin
- Children’s health and on-the-go first aid items such as bandages and antiseptic cream
- Healthy snacks and beverages
- Home and office essentials such as batteries, phone chargers, earbuds, lint rollers and stain removal sticks
The first 25 CVS Pharmacy vending machines will be unveiled throughout New England and New York between now and the end of October in targeted areas including:
- Airports including LaGuardia in New York City
- Public transit stations such as South Station Bus Terminal in Boston
- Office parks
- College campuses
These machines enhance customer convenience with strategic placements in areas well-trafficked by local residents and travelers alike who may need products in a pinch, eliminating the need to make a special trip to a retail location. CVS Pharmacy is also considering an additional 50+ locations throughout the country including college campuses, corporate offices, hotels and other transportation hubs to host vending machines in the future.
“These new vending machines allow us to make our innovative CVS Brand products available to customers outside of our store locations for the very first time,” said Cia Tucci, Vice President of Store Brands and Quality Assurance at CVS Health. “The CVS Pharmacy vending machines will be located in places where we can bring our customers smart solutions and convenient access to the products they trust when they are on-the-go.”
To help customers navigate this new shopping experience, the vending machines, will feature a 22″ multi-touch screen, high resolution images with expansive product information and a QR code reader to read barcodes and promotional codes. The machines will be ADA compliant, allowing those in wheelchairs to fully access the touchscreen and its functionality, and will accept all major credit and debit cards.
CVS Pharmacy is a trusted health and beauty destination for more than 5 million shoppers every day. The new vending machines, along with recent nationwide store design enhancements and expanding digital programs, represent the company’s ongoing efforts to evolve the retail customer experience in stores and beyond. With this pilot program, CVS Health adds to a growing portfolio of innovative services including CVS Curbside Pickup, CVS Pay and digital pharmacy tools available through the CVS Pharmacy app, that together build on the company’s enterprise mission to help people on their path to better health.
We applaud CVS for their vision.