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CVS Health to convert ‘hundreds’ of stores in 2019 to new concept


CVS Health is moving full steam ahead with updating stores to its new health-focused store format.

The company launched the HealthHub concept in Houston at the end of 2018, and has since expanded it to 50 more locations in four markets, according to a report by CNBC. “Hundreds more” stores are due to be converted to the format by yearend, the report said.

“We’ve made a commitment to have about 600 hubs by the end of this year,” Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS, said in an interview on CNBC’s Mad Money. “That’s 12 [updated stores] a week with a trajectory of 1,500 hubs by the end of 2021.”

Merlo said he is encouraged by the early results in the first group of updated stores.

“We’re seeing increased traffic in the stores, we’re seeing higher front-store margins and we are seeing terrific utilization of the health-related services,” he said. “So we’re really pleased with what we’re seeing.”

The design of the revamped stores allocates 20% of the space to health services, including durable medical equipment and supplies, and new product and service combinations to help customers manage conditions like sleep apnea and diabetes care. It also offers one-on-one and group counseling delivered by an in-store licensed dietitian, as well as access to a free weight loss digital app.

In addition, the HealthHub locations include community spaces, with “wellness rooms” available for CVS professionals and community partners to host group events, including health classes, nutritional seminars, and benefits education.

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