While CVS Health is running a pilot with SmileDirectClub to allow the startup to fit people for invisible braces in certain CVS drugstores, Walgreens has opened an Aspen Dental in one of its Florida locations, with plans to launch another later on this year.
With people shopping more online, drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS are trying to find ways to lure their customers to their brick-and-mortar locations.
“It all boils down to trying to diversify what they're offering in the front of the store,” said Brian Tanquilut, a healthcare services analyst with Jefferies, according to CNBC.
CVS has opened a SmileShopExpress in six of its drugstores where customers can get a 3D scan that will be used to create invisible braces.
“CVS Pharmacy is committed to making health easier and more convenient for our customers,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “As part of this commitment, we continuously test new programs and partnerships to enhance the customer experience.”
And last month, Walgreens opened its first Aspen Dental location in Palatka, Florida, with plans to open a second location in the second quarter of 2019.
Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Patrick Carroll explained that the move “ties in nicely” with Walgreens' overall strategy, while also expanding its services to its senior customers. Although traditional Medicare does not cover most dental procedures, more private Medicare plans are starting to offer coverage. The retailer believes that it make it can make it easy for seniors to find a dentist since they're already coming into stores for their prescriptions.
“The demographic is really looking for dental services, as their dentist may retire, they're looking for more access,” Carroll said. “We're also looking at a demographic that's really using Walgreens and the services they need at our stores.”