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Walgreens & CVS Have Something that Amazon Doesn’t

Amazon may offer millions of products and overnight delivery, but Walgreens and CVS have something the e-retail giant doesn’t—thousands of brick-and-mortar storefronts that allow them to serve their customers face to face, and partnerships with insurance providers.

Both drug retailers are testing new programs that expand their services. Walgreens, for example, launched a digital marketplace dubbed Find Care Now, that links its customers to medical care providers and their prices beyond services inside the drugstores. Currently, 16 local health systems and national healthcare providers participate in Find Care Now. Walgreens expects more providers to join the marketplace, especially once the retailer expands into new markets as part of its acquisition of 1,932 Rite Aid stores.

“Find Care Now is part of a series of innovations to offer a true omnichannel experience for Walgreens customers, as we work with others in the health care community to improve access to affordable health care services in the communities we serve,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations.

CVS, meanwhile, operates more than 1,100 Minute Clinics staffed by nurse practitioners, and isn’t ruling out offering more services at its 9,800+ drugstores once its deal with Aetna is completed.

“With a physical presence in almost every community across the country, we have the unique ability to meet patients where they are, and provide the care and services they need either face to face or with the unique set of virtual and physical delivery service capabilities that extends our physical presence in real time to meet their needs,” CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo said during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

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