CVS Health is expanding same-day prescription deliveries nationwide in the latest push by drugstores to keep customers who don’t want to wait and are doing more shopping online.
The drugstore chain says it can deliver medications and other products within a few hours to homes or offices from 6,000 locations. The company started this service, which comes with a fee, in late 2017 in New York and expanded it to several cities last year.
Rival Walgreens also offers same-day deliveries in major cities and plans to expand this year. Both companies also tout deliveries in one to two days.
Retailers like drugstores have been dealing with competition from online giant Amazon.com, which offers same-day delivery on detergent, toothpaste and 3 million other products nationwide. Amazon also bought last year the online pharmacy PillPack, which provides home deliveries. Amazon hasn’t detailed yet what it plans to do with the business.
CVS and Walgreens both built thousands of drugstores nationwide to get closer to customers before online shopping exploded in popularity. They’ve since tried to make their businesses more consumer-friendly to shoppers who are making more of their purchases without leaving home or work.
Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health Corp. said Thursday that customers will be able to order the same-day service through the company’s app, or by sending a text or calling the pharmacy. Aside from prescriptions, customers also can have cold remedies, vitamins and baby products delivered.
CVS will provide the service through the delivery company Shipt in 36 states and Washington, D.C. That service will cost about $8, or a few more dollars than the one-to-two day delivery option. For same-day deliveries, orders have to be placed a few hours before the stores close.
A CVS Health spokeswoman said Shipt will deliver the prescriptions in secure packaging to assure privacy.
AP Retail Writer Joseph Pisani contributed to this report from New York. Murphy reported from Indianapolis.
Follow Tom Murphy on Twitter: @thpmurphy