CVS to offer curbside pick-up services

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Soon you won’t even have to get out of your car to pick-up items like toothpaste or hairspray at CVS. The drugstore chain is the latest to announce plans for a curbside pick-up service.

Customers will be able to place an order using the CVS mobile app. Then arrival detection software, available through mobile commerce firm Curbside, will let a CVS worker know when the customer is on the way, so the order is ready within minutes.

For shoppers, CVS Express is a time-saver and it’s free.CVS EXPRESS

It’s a way for the huge chain to take aim at drugstore competitor Walgreens and the ever growing e-commerce company Amazon. It’s also a chance to recoup the loss of sales following the chain’s decision to drop tobacco products in 2015.

CVS isn’t the first to take up this idea and partner with Curbside. Target and Best Buy already offer the service through Curbside. Kroger stores also offer curbside pickup for groceries. Meijer provides the service in select stores in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, but not yet in Indiana.

Now Walmart & Sam’s Club are also working to develop drive-through pick-up services, but on their own.

Indianapolis residents have already shown they like the convenience factor.

In 2015, 24-Hour News 8 introduced you to a local dry-cleaner, Atlas Cleaners, that launched an on-demand app with success in Indy. Also, on-demand mowing and plowing services, even a take-out delivery business were expanding in the area.

CVS will first put this pilot program to the test in California, North Carolina and Georgia, but the chain plans to have it available at most of it’s nearly 8,000 stores nationwide, by the end of the year.

There are some caveats to this convenience though. Prescription drugs must still be sold in-store or through a separate drive-through window. Also, only about 75 percent of the average CVS stores’ retail products will be available through the service.

And here’s another hurdle, CVS Express will not be hooked up to the in-store inventory system. Meaning you may order a product and you won’t know that’s it’s not there until a worker goes to fill your order.

CVS executives say customers will be notified by text if that happens and offered a substitute item or that item will just be left out of their order.

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