You can already get checked and treated for strep throat at many drugstores. You can now get your teeth cleaned and straightened at some.
CVS Health is running a pilot with SmileDirectClub to fit people for the start-up's invisible braces in CVS' drugstores. Walgreens opened an Aspen Dental office in one of its Florida stores, with plans to open another this year. While these are small experiments for chains with about 10,000 stores each, they show how the drugstores are searching for new ways to draw customers inside.
People are shopping more online. That's a problem for drugstores, so Walgreens and CVS are getting creative. Walgreens has already added FedEx and Sprint kiosks in some stores. It's also working with Birchbox to spruce up its beauty aisles. CVS, meanwhile, in November closed a roughly $70 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna and now plans to turn its pharmacies into health hubs.
"It all boils down to trying to diversify what they're offering in the front of the store," said Jefferies health-care services analyst Brian Tanquilut.
In working with SmileDirectClub, a start-up that sells teeth straightening kits directly to consumers over the internet, CVS has added a so-called SmileShopExpress inside six of its drugstores. There, people can get a 3D scan that will be used to create their invisible braces. This is a pilot program for now, according to the two companies.
"CVS Pharmacy is committed to making health easier and more convenient for our customers," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "As part of this commitment, we continuously test new programs and partnerships to enhance the customer experience."