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CVS expands same-day delivery, tests robotic service

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy has launched a new partnership with DoorDash that will offer consumers the opportunity to have over-the-counter medications, grocery products and other items delivered to their front door as part of same-day delivery services.

These expanded delivery services are intended to allow customers to continue shopping while staying safely at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The partnership joins other efforts by CVS during the pandemic, including waiving all prescription delivery fees through August 31.

“This partnership allows customers to get the nonprescription daily essentials they need, while continuing to practice social distancing,” said George Coleman, senior vice president of merchandising at CVS Health.

DoorDash is available in Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and New York City. This month it continued its expansion in the New York, San Francisco and Boston metro areas, with a national launch expected next month.

The service does not require a delivery time slot or prescheduling, and more than 3,000 items are available on the DoorDash app, including health and beauty products, grocery staples, O-T-C items, and household products. All deliveries will be no-contact by default, allowing the delivery driver to leave the order in a secure location chosen by the customer.

The chain is also working with Nuro, a robotics company, in piloting a prescription delivery service in the Houston market this month. Nuro is utilizing its fleet of autonomous vehicles to deliver prescriptions and essentials to CVS Pharmacy customers.

“We are seeing an increased demand for prescription delivery,” said Ryan Rumbarger, senior vice president of store operations at CVS Health. “We want to give our customers more choice in how they can quickly access the medications they need when it’s not convenient for them to visit one of our pharmacy locations.”

“We are excited to expand into an entirely new vertical: health,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro’s cofounder and president. “Through our partnership with CVS, we hope to make it easier for customers to get medicine, prescriptions and the other things they need delivered directly to their homes.”

The pilot program serves customers across three ZIP codes near CVS Pharmacy’s location on Bissonnet Street in Bellaire, Texas. Customers in the pilot area who are placing prescription orders via CVS.com or the CVS Pharmacy app can choose the autonomous delivery option, and add other nonprescription items to their order. To ensure the security of their prescriptions, customers will need to confirm their identification to unlock their delivery when Nuro’s autonomous vehicle arrives curbside at their home. Deliveries will be free of charge to CVS Pharmacy ­customers.


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