Walgreens Woos Cautious Consumers With ‘MyW Days’

As consumers struggle with high prices, Walgreens is working to woo its loyalty program members.

The pharmacy chain on Monday (July 10) announced “myW Days,” a weeklong event — July 23-29 — for members of its myWalgreens program offering rewards and savings on all items in-store, online and on its app.

“We’re launching myW Days to thank myWalgreens members and show how much we appreciate them,” Linh Peters, chief marketing officer, said in a news release. 

The members-only event comes weeks after Walgreens reported earnings that showed it — like many other retailers — feeling the impact of consumer caution, as it warned its profits would fall below expectations.

“Our customer is feeling the strain of higher inflation and interest rates, lower [SNAP] benefits and tax refunds and an uncertain economic outlook,” CEO Rosalind Brewer said during the company’s earnings call. “They are pulling back on discretionary and seasonal spend and responding strongly to promotional activity.” 

PYMNTS research backs this up, with the report “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down” — which analyzed data from an April survey involving over 2,000 U.S. consumers — showing that 47% of grocery shoppers have switched over to less-expensive merchants.

“Inflation is a pressure point, and consumers are pulling back on discretionary spending,” PYMNTS wrote earlier this year. 

“And it may be the memberships — specifically the ‘value add’ offered by those memberships — that keep individuals and families spending with a select few retailers.

While research suggests that — as consumers reassess their household budgets — half of them would cancel membership if they found themselves unable to otherwise cover their bills. But in some cases, companies essentially subsidize memberships — often in ways that can improve partnerships.

For example, American Express has offered its Platinum Card holders complimentary Walmart+ memberships, letting them earn a statement credit covering the membership fee when they charge it to their Amex card.

PYMNTS data shows that a fifth of U.S. adults, or about 59 million adult consumers, have a Walmart+ membership, with the company increasingly capturing six-figure earners and younger consumers, who also fit the American Express-user profile. 

“The demographics underscore the broad appeal of memberships across income levels — and that belonging to one ‘club’ can serve as an entry point to another membership ecosystem,” PYMNTS wrote in March. “In the end, it’s the feeling of community and special perks that make members more inclined to keep spending.”