CVS to Open Hundreds of SmileDirectClub Shops in its Stores
CVS Health announced this morning that the drug store chain will open “hundreds” of SmileDirectClub locations inside its stores this year, with plans to open more than 1,000 locations over the next two years. Called a SmileShop, customers can receive a 3D scan of their teeth that will be used to create a pair of invisible braces. CNBC reported in January that CVS was running a pilot with SmileDirectClub to fit people for clear braces inside its drugstores. At the time, the idea was being tried out at just six CVS locations. The pilot grew to 13 locations, with the test performing so well that CVS decided to expand it.
Total Retail's Take: The expansion of its SmileDirectClub partnership represents another example of CVS seeking out ways to provide convenient, local and affordable health services for its customers within its physical locations. The drug store is actively trying to bring innovative solutions and services that consumers can't get online into its stores, making them a destination for shoppers who are increasingly buying everyday items (e.g., toothpaste, toilet paper) online. The partnership is benefiting both parties: SmileDirectClub gains increased brand awareness from its presence in the leading drug store chain and the ability to quickly scale its business, while CVS is attracting new, younger customers to its stores. In fact, of the 609 SmileShop visitors surveyed in three stores over a month, 32 percent weren’t regular customers, CVS Pharmacy President Kevin Hourican noted. Many of the patients were millennials, a key demographic CVS wants to grow.