Walgreens customers can now order more than 100 health and wellness items online and pick them up at the company's participating pharmacy drive-thrus across the country, the drugstore retailer announced on Monday. The retailer, which has more than 7,300 drive thru pharmacy locations taking part in the pickup initiative, also announced on Tuesday that it was returning to regular store hours at most storefronts.
Consumers can pick up a range of products that were specifically chosen for consumer needs during the pandemic, including cleaning supplies, certain over-the-counter medicines, grocery items, baby formula and medical supplies, per the company statement.
The retailer also noted that it's developing new digital "enhancements" and pickup options and will debut those offerings later this month.
Now that the coronavirus outbreak has placed a focus on essential retailers, the drugstore chain stated that it's also uniquely positioned to service customers because of its broad network of drive-thru locations.
As Walgreens leans on its drive-thrus, other retailers are focusing more on deliveries. Costco began offering prescription delivery through Instacart. Rite Aid also noted in an earnings call last month that it has also expanded a pilot program with Instacart and is looking to offer "additional convenient delivery options" for shoppers. Michaels and UPS teamed up to introduce temporary, contactless parcel deliveries to help customers and associates send and receive items while social distancing.
"During this current COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized the need for safe, alternative shopping options that helped promote social distancing," Richard Ashworth, president of Walgreens, said in a statement. "As a result, we quickly developed and launched this newest digital service — ordering online and picking up at drive-thru — in a manner of just a few short weeks."
The rollout of drive-thru pickup comes as the drugstore retailer resumes standard store operating hours, except for California, which will return to normal hours on May 18 due to local regulations. Other essential retailers, including Walmart, have recently adjusted their store hours to protect vulnerable customers or to give employees a longer period of time to restock supplies.