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Health and wellness retailing evolves


CVS Pharmacy

By 2021, Americans are expected to devote 24% of all household spending on healthcare goods and services. That’s up from 17% of all household spending on healthcare goods and services in 2000, demonstrating that health care is taking up a larger share of the consumer wallet.    


That makes consumer-directed care one of the largest potential areas of growth for retailers, Kantar Retail’s Brian Owens, director retail insights, shared at the company’s Drug Channel Workshop.    


According to Owens, one of the biggest trends impacting retailers is the “FLONH” effect. Between one-quarter and one-third of all major supplier and retailer innovations in the next five years will be centered around fresh, local, organic, natural and health products, or at least have one of these components, he said. “If you really want to get credit for health and wellness and what the shopper is looking for, you [need] to make a pretty bold statement in the marketplace about what part of the trip mission you’re a part of,” Owens told Drug Store News, “instead of trying to be everything to everybody.”

As the retailization of health care evolves and the FLONH trend continues, there will be a separation in shoppers’ minds between health, which consumers see as functional, and wellness, which is seen by shoppers as more of an emotional concept. Using a quadrant graph, Owens demonstrated that both types of experiences can be captured by playing along the engagement axis to either emphasize convenience or personalization.

For example, CVS Health’s push toward healthier food offerings is an example of positioning against convenient health. “This is a strategic decision to double-down on their branding of CVS Health,” he said. “This retailer wants to stand for health, and they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure their store represents that,” Owens said.

Meanwhile, Ritzman Pharmacy personalizes its experience through its “Pharmacy of the Future” concept by taking a holistic and team-based approach to wellness. “Experience matters,” Owens said. “Primary care services, physical therapy, medication therapy management. [It’s] a very different environment than what you are accustomed to in a drug store,” he added. “It looks like a spa. ... Pharmacies like this are best in class examples of what tailoring [the experience] looks like.”

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