Lupin 2023

CVS moves ahead on two fronts

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp. is expanding its reach in terms of the markets it serves and the savings it provides to customers.

With more than 7,000 stores, the drug chain made its entry into the St. Louis market last month, opening four stores in the region in a single week.

At the same time, CVS executives noted that holders of the company’s ExtraCare loyalty card last year received more than $1.9 billion in savings and rewards — a figure that includes all of the savings and rewards from coupons, circular offers and manufacturer promotions that are tied into the ExtraCare program.

“In 2009 Americans continued to cut costs and look for new ways to help stretch their dollar,” says Bari Harlam, vice president of marketing at CVS/pharmacy. “Through our ExtraCare loyalty program, we were able to deliver real value to CVS/pharmacy customers consistently throughout the year.

“In 2010 we are raising the bar even higher for ExtraCare members as we focus on providing additional savings on the products our customers need and value most, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.”

With more than 62 million active cardholders, CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare Rewards program is the largest retail loyalty program in the country.

And with value becoming a key factor in consumers’ decision where to shop, the program continues to grow, Harlam points out. In 2009 the number of active ExtraCare users grew by 10 million, she notes.

That number is expected to climb even more this year, helped partly by the drug store chain’s move into St. Louis and other markets.

CVS Caremark’s entry into St. Louis was marked by a grand opening celebration at the first of the four stores — a unit in the suburb of Ellisville, Mo., about 20 miles west of St. Louis.

“We are pleased to be opening stores in St. Louis, the 20th-largest drug store market in the country,” CVS/pharmacy president Larry Merlo said at the grand opening. “It is a great fit for our strategy of expanding into high-growth markets.

“Our mission at CVS is to make pharmacy solutions effective and easy for our customers, so we look forward to providing high-quality and convenient pharmacy services at a great value to our new customers in St. Louis.”

CVS’ other stores in the market are in St. Louis (two stores) and Olivette, Mo.


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