WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy is introducing vending machines stocked with 70 or so items curated for their particular locations — airports, hotels, office parks, college campuses — giving shoppers an opportunity to grab something quickly from a machine and keep going.
“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” explained Judy Sansone, senior vice president of front-store business and chief merchant at CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health. “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.”
With rents high and labor scarce, vending machines can offer retailers extra shelf space that is accessible 24 hours a day.
The CVS Pharmacy vending machines will be stocked with personal care items (shaving cream, deodorant, makeup remover) over-the-counter health products (remedies for headache, allergies, cough and cold), first aid items (bandages, antiseptic creams), home and office essentials (batteries, phone chargers, stain removal sticks) and a selection of snacks and beverages.
Included among the offerings will be items from CVS Pharmacy brands such as CVS Health, Beauty 360 and Gold Emblem.
The first 25 CVS Pharmacy vending machines are being unveiled in New England and the Greater New York area through October. The devices will go to New York area airports, including LaGuardia Airport, public transit hubs, including South Station in Boston, and elsewhere. The company is considering at least an additional 50 locations across the United States.
“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,” remarked 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.”
The vending machines will accept major debit cards and credit cards, according to CVS Pharmacy. Each will feature touchscreen technology, provide “expansive” product information, and have a QR code reader to decipher barcodes and promotional codes. They will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, meaning shoppers in wheelchairs can access the touchscreen.