Walgreens and its NYC Duane Reade unit has had success selling Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food for many years. In NYC many offices send someone out to Duane Reade to pick up lunch for the crew.
We started wondering after reading about CVS Health introducing a curbside pickup service accessible through its mobile app allowing customers to order most items using a mobile app and get their order delivered to their vehicle when they drive up to the store in USA Today.
Using the CVS App customers can now order most items and get their order delivered to their vehicle when they drive up to the store. Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS all have increased the quality, quantity of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.
Foodservice Solutions® team began thinking, pre-ordering and pre-paying for your way prescription, fresh food and having it delivered to your car as you pull into the lot just might be faster than fast food. Think about dinner if on your way home you could mix and match your order, say a prescription, gallon of milk for the kids and Heat-N-Eat Pizza, or fresh salads for dinner; one stop saves two other trips. That could be the next big thing.
The CVS App aka CVS Express, “was built on a mobile platform in partnership with Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up Curbside, founded by the same entrepreneurs behind Apple's Find Your iPhone app. CVS invested an undisclosed amount in Curbside. I know for a fact that service works.
What’s exciting here with CVS unlike most of Walgreens extended fresh food option that are found in urban locations only. The CVS smartphone app is promising to get orders ready within "about an hour" and they are targeting the suburbs.
There is no doubt that the CVS Express app represents a new pantry busting platform for retail grocery stores and fast food restaurants. The ability for a customer to order and mix and match, such as beauty products, baby goods and groceries on the way home from work with only one stop just might become a game changer.
CVS stores in California, North Carolina and Georgia currently offer the service, while most of the retailer's 7,900 stand-alone U.S. locations by the end of the year. Urban locations without easy vehicle access are unlikely to get the service. So the question is will Walgreens expand fresh food beyond urban locations? Can grocery stores keep up? Will restaurants expand retail offerings?
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