If You Buy Medication at Walgreens, Prepare for This Major Change
The drug store chain just launched a new initiative for shoppers.
Walgreens is the go-to drug store for countless people across the U.S., which makes sense since about 78 percent of the entire population lives within five miles of one of this company's nearly 9,000 drug stores. But even a short drive to the pharmacy can feel like a 12-hour road trip when you're sick and need to grab some meds. Thankfully, a new initiative from Walgreens could help alleviate this issue. The company has just started a new delivery program, which will allow some shoppers to get certain medications delivered straight to them in less than 10 minutes. Read on to find out about this major change at Walgreens.
Walgreens just launched a new delivery service.
Walgreens is changing the way you shop through a partnership with Wing, a technology company operated by Google's parent company Alphabet, The Wall Street Journal reported. The drug store chain has teamed up with Wing to launch a drone delivery service for shoppers.
The initiative started in the Dallas-Forth Worth area on April 7, with Walgreens sending deliveries from a parking lot in Little Elm, Texas. Wing told The Wall Street Journal that deliveries will be limited to "tens of thousands of suburban homes" in Little Elm and Frisco, Texas, but over time, the company is planning to expand and have customers operate their own drone deliveries.
Shoppers can get certain medications delivered via the new service.
Walgreens customers with access to the service will be able to get more than 100 items from the retailer delivered using Wing's drone-delivery app, a spokesperson for the drug store told The Wall Street Journal. These items include over-the-counter (OTC) medications and household essentials.
And while prescription medications are not yet on the table for these Walgreens customers, some experts believe it could be an extremely viable option for the future. Andrew Lipsman, a principal analyst at research firm eMarketer, told The Wall Street Journal that prescriptions could be an ideal product for drone deliveries. "Prescriptions are light, they are often of high urgency … the consumer utility is really high," he said.
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The drones will deliver your order directly to you.
A Walgreens spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that in Little Elm, Walgreens employees are attaching delivery items to hovering drones with a line. Once that is done, the drone reels in the line and flies the product to its intended customer. When the drone arrives to a shopper, it lowers their package, which becomes automatically unhooked. Then the drone flies back to the staging area to be charged.
"We've staged drones at a local Walgreens store, so they're ready to fly health and wellness products directly to customer homes," Wing CEO Adam Woodworth wrote in an April 4 newsletter.
And these deliveries could take less than 10 minutes.
The delivery time with the drones appears to be significantly quicker than what you might get from a vehicle. According to Wing, its drones travel 65 miles per hour, can carry up to 3.3 pounds, and have a range of 12 miles round trip. And the travel time to a destination is usually less than 10 minutes. "This third-party delivery model will give businesses the ability to reach their customers in faster and cheaper ways than ever before," Alexa Dennett, the head of communications for Wing, told The Wall Street Journal.