For years, Walgreens has been the place where you could grab some milk, chips or soda while picking up a prescription but now the drugstore chain wants to be more than an afterthought in the fresh food market.
The thing about locking up all of your merchandise behind glass is your customers can’t actually buy it. Well, they can if you have employees who give a damn about helping a customer. This Walgreens in Brooklyn does not have those kind of employees.
A CVS employee in Chicago chased a 35-year-old shoplifter out of his store and held him in a chokehold for “several minutes” on Saturday morning until police came. The thief–who had stolen tubes of toothpaste–was taken to a hospital and initially described as in “fair-to-serious” condition, but then declared dead about 45 minutes later, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The death is being ruled an accidental homicide, and the police aren’t going to press charges against the employee.
Tabitha and her husband were part of a horrible chain of events. She was ill, and her husband was mugged on the way home from the pharmacy with her prescriptions. With his credit cards, cash, and his wife’s medicine all gone, her husband went back to the pharmacy…and received true above and beyond service.
I was at a Rite-Aid a couple of weeks back and went to pick up some cheap dish detergent, and the bottles that I remembered being less than $1.50 were all in the $3-4 range. I left and found sanely-priced soap at another store a few blocks away. Our reader Stan just wrote in with a similar example, where he caught his local CVS charging him three times as much as a nearby competitor.
Michael says his local Walgreens in Illinois can’t seem to unload its inventory of last year’s Hanukkah candy–so it just brings it back out with every other holiday.
Rob took this picture of a 15″ LCD television for sale at Walgreens in Virginia. It’s nice that they chose to highlight the price, but confusing that they also posted the unit price. If you’re wondering, TVs cost $8 per inch. I like this pricing scheme, and hope to see other retailers adopt it.
First, there was Pepsi Vanilla. Then there was Pepsi Lime. Now, exclusively at Walgreens, you can get the latest special flavor of Pepsi: Pepsi H1N1. It is also available in frozen pizza, Buffalo wing, and ice cream form.
Are you curious about what dedicated bargain-hunters call the Drugstore Game, taking advantage of drugstores’ reward programs in order to acquire more toothbrushes and shampoo than your family could ever possibly use? What frugal person isn’t? Yet the forums where people discuss the tricks of this game can be intimidating, and it’s hard to know where to start. What if you’re not ready for major-league Drugstore Game? Is there maybe Drugstore Game T-Ball? Yes, there is!
Walgreens told Bloomberg News that the company is looking into selling fresh food and prepared meals–things like salads, cut fruits, and sandwiches. From RetailWire:
Details of the program were sketchy, including when it would launch. […] The drugstore chain has been in talks with food manufacturers, mentioning Unilever, Nestle and Sara Lee, about creating private-label and branded products for the initiative.
Many stores offer discounts to customers who bring their own reusable bags to shop. Now, CVS is integrating their customer loyalty program with a green initiative, and plans to reward customers with 25 cents every time they use reusable bags.
Sure, not everyone has the time, inclination, or buying habits that make extreme coupon-shopping worthwhile. But everyone can benefit from learning some of the proud secrets of the coupon ninjas, such as coupon sources for products you probably already use, and combining sales, rebates, and coupons.
Ever run to the drug store for a tube of toothpaste and find that your meager purchase results in a receipt the length of War and Peace? Two-foot long receipts are increasingly common these days, as retailers embrace technologies allowing them to microtarget customers. The colossal waste of paper comes at a cost, not only in felled trees but on man hours spent on changing tape and fixing broken printers.
CVS pharmacies apparently don’t need consent to enroll customers in ReadyFill, a program that signs customers up for the maximum allowable number of prescription refills and then robocalls them when their drugs are ready. According to a veteran pharmacist, the automatic enrollments began after CVS’ corporate office set specific performance targets that would affect bonuses for managers and pharmacists. Inside, the pharmacist tells us what ReadyFill is, how it works, and how to escape those annoying robocalls…
CVS asks: How about some dead trees and a bunch of ads with that purchase? Not in so many words, of course: that would actually give shoppers a choice.
Walgreens Cancels EasySaver Program, But That Doesn't Mean You Can't Still Play "The Drugstore Game"
Mitchell wrote to us complaining about Walgreen’s decision to cancel its EasySaver Rebate program, where customers could submit multiple rebate requests at once and get the money back along with a 10% bonus applied to a gift card. Although the program is no longer with us, it’s still very possible to game the reward/discount systems at Walgreens and other chain drugstores to accumulate huge savings. Sometimes you can even make money back.
It took three calls from CVS’ automated reminder service for me to realize what was going on: CVS Pharmacy was refilling our prescriptions without our asking for them to be refilled, and then their automated dialer was calling us to notify us that we had a prescription waiting. Nobody in my family requested to have a prescription refilled, yet three times CVS called us to tell us to come and pick up our prescription.
The number of overcharging violations – defined as charging more at the register than the price in an advertisement, on a shelf sign, or on the item itself – soared to 711, from 425.