OPERATIONS

Walgreens expands alliance with FedEx in offensive move against Amazon

BY Marianne Wilson

Walgreens isn’t about to let Amazon get the best of it.

As the industry waits for the online giant to make its move into pharmacy following its June acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack, Walgreens is expanding its partnership with FedEx to launch next-day prescription delivery nationwide.

Walgreens will charge $4.99 for the next-day delivery service. Orders must be placed by 4 p.m. on business days. The drug store chain said the service makes it “the fastest choice for next-day prescription delivery across the nation.”

“Next-day prescription home delivery is another convenience-driver, alongside our industry-leading number of extended hours pharmacies and one of the most downloaded digital apps in the category, designed to put care in the hands of our patients,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “This expansion of our alliance with FedEx illustrates our commitment to making filling prescriptions as fast and easy as possible.”

Walgreens also plans to expand its same-day delivery service in 2019. The chain already offers same-day delivery in Dallas; Chicago; New York City; Miami; Gainesville, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The delivery services are part of Walgreens Express, which also allows customers to preview the cost of their prescriptions and prepay for those that are eligible. Customers can choose between home delivery or express pickup in store via a dedicated Walgreens Express pickup checkout line.

In 2017, Walgreens and FedEx partnered to provide access to FedEx “drop off and pickup services” at nearly 8,000 Walgreens locations nationwide.

“FedEx and Walgreens are empowering consumers to choose when and where they receive their orders,” said Randy Scarborough, VP of retail marketing, FedEx Services. “Just as FedEx package pick-up and drop-off services at Walgreens locations provide customers with much-needed convenience, the ability to ship prescription medication directly from Walgreens to their homes offers valuable flexibility to best meet individual needs and schedules.”

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