Did you get your flu shot?


It’s that time of the year for a flu shot.  And, thankfully everyone in my household is healthy enough to get one.  So, for the first time as a family we received our flu shot together from our local CVS Pharmacy.  I believe they call them Minute Clinics.  It was a new experience for us.  We generally get our flu shots in the doctor’s office.  My husband pointed out the savings of getting our flu shots at the local pharmacy.  So, on a lazy Sunday afternoon we drove over to CVS.

It was an easy process since no appointments are necessary; and, an interesting experience that cost less than half what a flu shot in the doctor’s office charges.

While we were registering on the check-in kiosk two other customers came up.  One customer wanted a flu shot; the other was a mother with three young children and one of the kid’s was sick.  I didn’t realize that you could get more than a flu shot at CVS.  Not only do they provide vaccinations.  They provide treatment and diagnostic services and even prescribe medications.  I started talking to the CVS nurse who is a Nurse Practioner and basically she sees “patients” all day with various ailments.  It’s basically a walk-in clinic within the CVS store created by and run for CVS customers.

So, contrary to some of the news and some analyst beliefs, brick and mortar retail continues to transform itself. Relevancy is key and no-where is that more evident than when you look at chain drug stores.  In the midst of our country’s continuous healthcare debate, drug chain stores are strategically positioning themselves as a health care resource to the communities they serve.

They are filling a vacuum that they see exist; and, it’s my opinion that they are quietly establishing themselves as an alternate healthcare resource.  I’ve always seen the flu shot promotions but I didn’t know that the drug stores designed an easy access walk in clinic within the store.    And, not only is CVS doing this so is Rite Aid; and Walgreens.  They are leading a subtle change in the US and reshaping the landscape of healthcare.  

Attracting “patients’ allows them to create loyalty among their customers; while, driving traffic into their stores from all types of prospective customers.  There are some obvious business lessons that can be learned from this by asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Is the market creating an opportunity for you to leverage your brand by developing an offshoot product or service that is needed? 
  • Do you have the resources in place that you can test this opportunity to decide if customers will buy the product or services offered? 
  • Lastly, will it help you market your core product and/or service? 

CVS hands out $5 coupons for every $25 spent; and, all ages receive the coupons.  This incentivizes the “patient” to return as a shopper to use his/her $5 coupon.  So, we got flu shots and $15 worth of coupons when we spend $75!  So, I’m heading back to CVS.  This time to use my coupon. 

By the way, did you get your flu shot?


Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsul or @eretailersummit.