Retail and health care are becoming further connected, as this new Kmart deal demonstrates.
Kmart will offer home deliveries of pharmacy prescriptions via ScriptDrop.
The deal comes amid significant recent developments at the intersection of retail and health care, a trend that promises to get a boost from the ongoing pandemic.
"The need for prescription delivery has never been greater," said Jennifer Speares Lehman, registered pharmacist and divisional VP for Kmart Pharmacy. "Vulnerable patients need a way to get their essential medications without leaving home, as all Americans have been cautioned to continue social distancing for the time being.”
Here’s how the prescription-ordering process works:
A customer will receive a "Ready for Pickup" text message once the prescription is ready, indicating a delivery option with a link to follow.
A customer will confirm delivery information and pay the $8 delivery fee (cost may change depending on location).
Same-day delivery is available for customers within 10 miles of a pharmacy location, and next-day delivery is available up to 150 miles.
If the customer requests delivery before 11 a.m., the customer will receive the prescription the same day, after 2 p.m. If the request comes after 11 a.m., the customer will receive the prescription the next business day. Orders placed after 11 a.m. on Friday will be delivered on Monday.
"We're pleased to team up with Kmart Pharmacy to enable same-day delivery for its customers," said Amanda Epp, CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based ScriptDrop. "It's important to increase prescription access for vulnerable patients right now."
Even before the pandemic, Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Kmart — founded more than a century ago, owned by Sears between 2005 and 2019, and now owned by Transform SR Brands — was suffering a serious decline, and now reportedly operates fewer than three dozen stores in a handful of states. Even so, this move demonstrates how retail and health care are moving closer together.
Walgreens provides another recent example.
News recently emerged that as many as 700 Walgreens stores will undergo a dramatic transformation in the next five years after the Deerfield, Illinois-based retailer inked a uniquely structured deal with VillageMD to open full-service doctor's offices in 30 markets.
Additionally, Amazon said it would open health care clinics near fulfillment centers in five U.S. metro regions to serve warehouse workers and their families. The e-commerce operator struck a deal with Crossover Health, which Seattle-based Amazon called an expert in comprehensive primary care services, to operate the clinics.
Meanwhile, other retailers, including those focused on food, are stepping up their own delivery services, and not just for people. Publix Pharmacy is now filling pet medications at its locations in Florida, many of which are eligible for home delivery through its partnership with ScriptDrop.
Lakeland, Florida-based Publix, with 1,239 locations in the Southeast, is No. 12 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food retailers inNorth America. Amazon is No. 2 and Walgreens is No. 4 on the list.