Walgreens to debut new store format

Walgreens will unveil the first iteration of its new store format later this spring or in early summer, executives said at the 36th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

It will mark the first major overhaul of the core Walgreens format since it finalized its merger with Alliance Boots in December 2014. The updated format will bring together many of the services Walgreens has been perfecting under one roof — including such healthcare offerings as in-store lab services, optical services and patient care through partnerships with such companies as MedExpress, Alex Gourlay, co-COO Walgreens, told J.P. Morgan healthcare analyst Lisa Gill.

Gourlay expects to pilot the new format for as many as 18 months before rolling the model out.

"We need maybe six months, maybe 18 months, to really understand all of these components to get the right business components to scale,” he said.” Some will scale individually, some will scale collectively. That's the work we're doing next.”

Once the format comes together, Walgreens won't be stopping at just one store.

"We have worked out many of the components, [including] the capital costs required to be able to scale that when we get to the right point," Gourlay said. "It also tells you we've been working on the retail side of the business to create the space to actually accommodate these services."