CVS has announced that it will be introducing curbside delivery service to consumers, enabled via the CVS mobile app.
The service, which is now being offered in a pilot program in select CVS retail store locations, will be rolled out nationwide but will apply only to over-the-counter products and items and not prescription drugs, which still must be purchased in-store or via a drive-through pharmacy.
CVS is introducing the service, known as CVS Express, in response to increased online competition from large retailers such as Walmart, Target and Sears, all of which currently offer their own versions of curbside pickup service. CVS is partnering with technology development company Curbside to offer the in-app service.
Curbside is the same company that developed Target's curbside pickup service, now being tested in several urban markets, including New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
"Our proprietary location technology ensures seamless, reliable order handoff at the moment a customer arrives and our console apppowers an efficient pick and pack operation for CVS Pharmacy colleagues to prepare orders in the store," Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Curbside, explained. "In partnership with CVS Health we've created a fast, convenient new shopping experience that busy CVS Pharmacy customers are going to love."
The curbside pickup technology was developed in less than three months, and was originally tested in San Francisco and later rolled out to Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, where it has been deemed successful enough to warrant a national rollout.
One aspect of the service that is sure to disappoint some customers is the exclusion of one crucial product category from the offerings for curbside pickup: prescription drugs.
Because of regulations regarding the dispensing of prescription drugs, consumers will still be required to enter the store or use one of the many drive-through pharmacy locations offered by CVS and nationwide rivals Walgreens and Rite Aid.
CVS also announced that it has made an investment in Curbside, cementing its dedication to the technology and its ongoing relationship with the company.