Pilot to roll out units in New York, New England this fall
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Over the coming weeks, CVS Pharmacy plans to roll out automated vending machines selling “better-for-you” snacks, personal care items and over-the-counter health products in high-traffic public venues.
CVS said Thursday that the first 25 CVS Pharmacy vending machines will be deployed in New England and New York through the end of October. Sites will include airports, such as New York City’s LaGuardia Airport; public transit stations, such as South Station Bus Terminal in Boston; office parks; and college campuses.
Another 50-plus locations around the country — including universities, corporate offices, hotels and other transportation centers — also are being considered for hosting the vending machines, the company added.
“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” Judy Sansone, senior vice president of front store business and chief merchant at CVS Pharmacy, said in a statement. “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, like airports, hotels and other transportation hubs.”
With an assortment customized for each location, the CVS Pharmacy vending machines will offer more than 70 products, including exclusive store-brand lines like CVS Health, Beauty 360, Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem Abound, according to CVS.
Products sold through the units will include OTC remedies for allergy, pain relief, digestive health and cough/cold; beauty and personal care items like shaving cream, deodorant and makeup remover; vitamins and supplements; eye care and oral care; sleeping aids, such as melatonin; children’s health items; first aid such as bandages and antiseptic cream; healthy snacks and beverages; and home and office essentials such as batteries, phone chargers, earbuds, lint rollers and stain removal sticks.
The vending machines will feature a 22-inch multi-touch screen, high-resolution images with detailed product information, and a QR code reader for barcodes and promotional codes. CVS said the units will accept all major credit and debit cards and be ADA-compliant, enabling consumers in wheelchairs to fully access the touchscreen.
CVS noted that the vending machines will heighten the visibility of its brand as well as serve local residents and travelers who may need products in a pinch, eliminating the need to make a special trip to a retail location.
“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,” stated 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.”
CVS said the vending machine pilot builds on its recent efforts to enhance the customer experience, including convenience-focused services such as CVS Curbside Pickup, CVS Pay and digital pharmacy tools in CVS mobile app plus a new front-end format at stores nationwide.