Chicago -- Walgreens on Wednesday told shareholders at the chain’s annual meeting in Chicago that it will continue to push the envelope of traditional drugstore retailing. Going forward, the company said it is focused on three areas of opportunity:
“With our three strategic growth objectives in place, Walgreens is now positioned extremely well for long-term growth,” said Greg Wasson, president and CEO, Walgreens.
Wasson told shareholders that chain is taking a “multi-pronged approach to delivering the Well Experience.”
“We are combining leading-edge design with enhanced products and services, increased engagement with team members and customers, and an omnichannel approach that blends our brick-and-mortar stores with e-commerce and mobile commerce,” he said. “We are deliberately blurring many retail channels to fit how consumers shop today.”
Calling 2012 “an important year for Walgreens,” Wasson said: "We did make some tough choices to protect and solidify … our position for the long term. [But] our vision is crystal clear to become the first choice for health and daily living in America."
Along with acquiring a global platform through its 45% stake in Alliance Boots, Walgreens made such other substantial acquisitions in 2012 as USA Drug, Crescent Pharmacy and BioScrip. And after a drawn-out and costly battle, it reached new, multi-year agreements with pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts.
In addition, the company launched its first-ever loyalty program, Walgreens Balance Rewards, which now claims more than 50 million customers and continued to expand its “Well Experience” format, opening some 400 locations. The stores put the pharmacist in front of the counter and closer to the patient. Many of the loca