CVS Caremark optimistic going into 2013

Woonsocket, R.I. -- CVS Caremark executives expressed optimism going into 2013 and outlined its strategic growth framework during its annual Analyst Day held on Thursday in New York City.

“CVS Caremark is very well-positioned for continued growth. The rapidly changing environment creates significant challenges across the healthcare universe, but this also creates significant opportunities.  We are uniquely positioned to address these opportunities through pharmacy innovation,” Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, told analysts.

The retailer was equally optimistic with regards to its retail operations.

“Our retail business is really firing on all cylinders,” Mark Cosby, EVP and president of CVS/Pharmacy, told analysts. “We are continuing to grow market share, and we are significantly outpacing our competition in both the front store and in the pharmacy.”

Touching upon its core growth opportunities, Cosby discussed the company’s plan to drive pharmacy growth, differentiating the front store and growing its store base.

The retailer said is working to expand its myCVS store clustering initiative, which focuses on store designs that match the needs of customers within each type of trade area.

“We have defined eight unique clusters to match our customer base, and we are organizing to capitalize on this cluster opportunity,” Cosby said. He added that the company is designing a new store prototype that will be fully oriented toward each of the eight clusters.

The effort kicked off in 2011 with its urban cluster, and now the company has set its sights on a suburban-focused pilot in 2013. This will feature an enhanced pharmacy and an elevated health and beauty assortment.

The suburban cluster will be rolled out through remodels and as part of its new store program. The company will also test new clusters that will be rolled out starting in 2014.

“The myCVS clustering effort will be a powerful growth driver for us both in the front store and in the pharmacy,” Cosby said.

The company also announced it would accelerate MinuteClinic’s growth plan and now plans to operate at least 1,500 clinics by 2017 and will continue to enter new markets, including Hawaii and Louisiana next year.


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