THE DAILY SCOPE, 11/18/21: If the proliferation of drugstores on nearly every other corner gets you down, then you’ll be happy to know that CVS will be closing 900 locations over the next three years. It’s part of parent company CVS Health’s strategy to transform its brick-and-mortar retail stores from being merely pharmacies that also sell sundries, consumer packaged goods, groceries, batteries, chargers, cables, cameras, and other small electronics into bonafide medical health facilities. Remaining stores will be reimagined and redesigned as HealthHUBs where consumers can see their primary care physicians and mental health specialists and get diagnostic tests. Suddenly Abbott President and CEO Robert Ford’s keynote at CES 2022 doesn’t seem so out of place, because a big part of retail’s future will also be healthcare. It’ll be interesting to see how CVS implements self-check-out style technology for diagnostics—that only seems like a matter of time as increasingly telemedicine-savvy consumers learn how to interface with remote doctors.
The L.A. Auto Show this week has resumed as an in-person event – the first one in two years – and trucks and EVs are a big part of the announcements. We haven’t heard too much in terms of EV delivery and other supply chain angles, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, the INDI One Electric Car concept that was demoed at the show is intriguing from a BOPIS and curbside shopping angle. Optimized for access to social media and entertainment, the autonomous INDI One is decked out with screens, cameras, and connectivity. One could imagine location-based e-commerce – especially of the curbside variety — taking place while riders are being chauffeured around. What’s more, if livestream shopping takes off, this connected social media studio of a car could also serve as a roaming retailer on wheels, ready to demo products live and only the fly and then deliver them on the fly. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds; even without gridlock in the middle of a pandemic, consumers got accustomed to getting deliveries and not having to get in their cars. This just adds an extra layer of real-time customer service to the endeavor.
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