Iam grateful for many things in my life. But one thing that I just added to my list, and never considered before, is that I don’t have to figure out the shopping habits of American consumers. With Americans working more hours than ever, U.S. retailers have gone out of their way to make shopping more convenient, adding
products and services to their core offerings – all in an effort to entice
customers to spend more money in their establishments.
Witness Walmart and Target adding large food sections to their
stores; gas stations adding convenience store food items; CVS and
Walgreens selling tobacco products and food products.
But wait, didn’t CVS announce earlier this year it was going
to stop selling tobacco products in its stores in an effort to
promote itself as a health care company? In fact CVS will stop
selling these products a month sooner than originally planned.
Will removing one product from the shelves of all CVS’ move
them closer to being a true “health care” company? I suppose it helps,
as cigarettes are the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States
and causes all sorts of other health problems. But if you look closely
at what CVS sells – you start to see more problems with their logic.
First, and I was not aware of this until some of my Facebook friends
in other states pointed it out to me, CVS sells liquor in many of its locations. They also sell candy – all prominently displayed right in front
of the registers, and not too far from the aisle with all the diabetic
testing supplies. If you want to be a healthcare company shouldn’t
you remove all sugary snacks from you shelves?
But let’s not pick on CVS – at least they are trying.
You can walk in to just about any major supermarket these days
and get a prescription filled while filling your cart with products filled
with sugar, fat and nicotine. The lines between food store and drug
store have become very blurry indeed.
So where will this mash-up of health care and snack fare end?
I have a vision of walking into a 7-11, and while waiting for my prescription to be filled, munch on a beef and bean burrito and wash it
down with a Dr. Pepper Big Gulp.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
■ FROM THE EDITOR
Where Will it End?
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Where is the line drawn between
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■ Michael Auerbach, Editor in Chief
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