Walgreens Accelerates Digital Investments Amid The Pandemic

Walgreens Accelerates Digital Investments Amid The Pandemic

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.  accelerated its investments in its important strategic priorities during the third quarter to prepare for growth in the future amid the pandemic. The health retailer said the effects of the coronavirus confirmed the roadmap that was already in place for digitalization measures, making “neighborhood health destinations,” restructuring its retail offering and fueling cost transformation, according to an announcement.

Walgreens Boots Alliance implemented new delivery options, put into place digital “order ahead” drive-throughs with a larger array of merchandise available for drive-through pick-up, and “substantially” built up its personal protective equipment (PPE) offering. Its digitally initiated sales rose by 22.7 percent in the quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019. In addition, Boots UK increased its Boots.com functions, putting resources toward hybrid locations and micro-fulfillment centers as well as increasing capacity by over two times.

The company is also bolstering its investments in digital infrastructure and omnichannel, noting that it is seeing “encouraging response from customers to its digital marketing initiatives,” per the announcement. In the third quarter, it said the continuing launch of mass personalization bolstered Walgreens retail sales by 95 basis points. The firm said it recently unveiled its strategic partnership with Adobe and Microsoft to roll out a client information and marketing technology platform to offer customized healthcare and commerce experiences.

Walgreens Boots Alliance also said it “has taken an important step forward to accelerate its key strategic priority to create neighborhood health destinations” with an integrated pharmacy delivery and primary care model as unveiled on Monday (July 8). The company, along with VillageMD, said that Walgreens will serve as the first countrywide pharmacy company to provide doctors’ offices that offer a full range of services at its retail locations en masse after a “highly successful” pilot started in 2019.

Walgreens reported sales of $34.6 billion and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 83 cents in the third quarter compared to analyst expectations of $34.36 billion and $1.17, according to CNBC.

In March, Walgreens and Postmates had joined forces to provide expanded offerings to more shoppers as the demand for delivery increased in the wake of COVID-19.