To boost revenues, Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Ill., plans to tantalize "time-starved" consumers with fresh foods and prepared meals in its 7,000 drug stores.
Bryan Pugh, vice president of merchandising, told Bloomberg that Walgreen is talking to Unilever NV, Nestle SA and Sara Lee Corp, about creating private label and branded products. He added that a director of fresh foods has been hired and will begin work in several weeks, but declined to name the person.
Supply and distribution issues must be sorted out, and tests will be conducted in some markets before the introduction of salads, cut fruits, ready-to-bake pizzas and sandwiches. Walgreen already successfully sells private label beer and wine in some locations. It might be difficult at first for consumers to catch on to the idea, but many people prefer one-stop shopping. My local Walgreen store in downtown Chicago has two aisles of prepared packaged foods to choose from, and they are always crowded.
Hmmm, let's see what competitor CVS does.