Thursday, March 9, 2017

CVS vs. Walgreens

CVS vs Walgreens
By Brooklyn Basche
As consumers we expect our pharmaceutical sellers to sell only healthy products to promote our wellness. Back in February of 2014,  every CVS pharmacy discontinued selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. Should Walgreens stop selling their tobacco products?
I recently started working at Walgreens so I have some insight as to why the Walgreens cooperation continues to sell these harmful and unhealthy products. Walgreens customers usually come in to pick up last minute things, or if they are in a hurry. Walgreens isn’t as large as Walmart or Pick n’ Save, which can result in lower sales. By selling tobacco products it increases the amount of weekly sales giving Walgreens a larger profit. People like the prices of Walgreens cigarettes because they are cheaper than the gas stations prices. Walgreens has a higher demand for tobacco products with their low prices. When people purchase a pack of cigarettes they are faced with the opportunity cost of enjoying the cigarettes, losing money, and harming their bodies or saving their money and purchasing something else that is healthier.
Walgreens still sells tobacco products over two years after CVS made the decision to stop all sales in regards to cigarettes. CVS was willing to help their customers healthier by no longer giving the choice of buying those harmful temptations. Initially, CVS wasn’t make as much of a profit. They lost 2 billion dollars out of their 150 billion dollars that year. After people realized how much CVS cared about their customers, they had more revenue due to their importance towards health. CVS also had a large increase in sales due to their tobacco products, but in order to be a good health provider they chose to abstain from selling them. On the other hand, Walgreens is going against their slogan, “At the corner of happy and healthy” by continuing to sell these harmful substances, even if it may make some customers happy. Even though Walgreens continues to sell cigarettes, they still are focused on pleasing the customers, and making sure that they find everything they need. Some customers feel the need to have cigarettes, so if they can provide them in order to please them they will do so. Do you think Walgreens should follow in CVS’ footsteps?

Works Cited
"CVS Stops Selling Tobacco - Message from Larry Merlo." CVS Health. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.

Maxfield, John. "Why It Doesn't Matter If Wal-Mart and Walgreen Stop Selling Cigarettes." The Motley Fool. The Motley Fool, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.Maxfield, John.
"Why It Doesn't Matter If Wal-Mart and Walgreen Stop Selling Cigarettes." The Motley Fool. The Motley Fool, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.Reed, Robert.
"At the corner of happy and healthy, Walgreens still sells cigarettes. It's time to kick the habit." N.p., 02 Feb. 2017. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.


  1. I do not think that Walgreens should stop selling tobacco products. They sell them because they make money. It is not their fault that people are addicted to them, and are ruining their lives with them. They sell them to make money, and that's it. If people want to continue to throw away years of their lives with harmful tobacco, that is their own decision.

  2. Yes, I think that Walgreen should follow CVS foot steps because even though they might lose money like you said CVS did they will gain the trust of their customers with the store being healthy and actually caring for what their consumers buy. I also think that even though Walgreen's isn't as big as Walmart and pick n save people will continue to go there because its small and has almost everything one needs.

  3. I do not believe that Walgreens should follow in CVS's footsteps. True, it will make the pharmacy more true to its slogan and goals,but the amount of profit lost will hurt it more. As you stated, CVS lost 2 billion dollars and this may have the same effects on Walgreens. Also, not selling cigarettes won't compel people to stop smoking and will instead force them to buy elsewhere. This will lead to a drop in sales and at the same time will not lead to a decrease in smoking.

  4. I believe that Walgreens and other smaller stores will not stop selling tobacco products. It's one of their main sources of income and without it they would have to be closed down. Good for CVS for shutting down their tobacco sales, but they are able to afford doing this because they are a larger production store. Stores like CVS, Walmart, and Target are able to not sell harmful products like these because they have more expensive products that people purchase there.

  5. From a moral standpoint, Walgreen's should stop selling tobacco products. From an economics standpoint, it just doesn't make sens. There is a lot of risk involved with doing so. As was said, CVS lost 2 billion dollars by refusing to sell tobacco products. I get that some stores care about their customers, but refusing to sell them cigarettes will not persuade them to stop smoking. Basically it is a double loss for the store. They are decreasing the amount of revenue they make and losing customers, and the same people will only purchase the product at a different store. If Walgreen's werer to do this, I would expect the same result there as well. There is no clear cut benefits of stopping the sale of tobacco at this point, because the demand is still strong. It may be morally correct, but economically it just isn't a smart move.

  6. I think Walgreens should aspire in CVS foot steps by not selling tobacco products, even though Walgreens actions are cynic by their self interest about making money instead of making people healthier, they are handing them all the diseases and problems cigarettes cause. However Walgreens will not stop selling them simply because it messes with the opportunity cost of their profit. Either they lose profit by not selling tobacco or making a lot of profit by selling those products. To Walgreens it's inconsequential of them selling these products because the people of the society and community keep purchasing these products.

  7. When CVS decided to stop telling tobacco products they lost so much money in a matter of months. Walgreen's has always been a successful store, along with CVS before they stopped selling tobacco products. No matter what it is something that shouldn't be sold, but if all businesses were to stop selling it sales would go down so much.

  8. I believe that Walgreens shouldn't follow CVS's decision because not only did CVS lose 2 billion dollars they lost also lost valued consumers to buy that product, since now CVS doesn't sell tobacco products they will go to Walgreens now losing the market for tobacco products. But overall, smoking is very bad for you so I can see why CVS did what it did by doing that.

  9. I agree in terms of Walgreens going against their slogan "at the corner of happy and healthy", because in reality they are not supporting health by offering harmful products that really don't help represent a business like that. On the other hand that should go against the fact that Walgreen's sells ice cream as well, because in reality it's not healthy. And the increase in stores carrying beer doesn't help the case either. So if all the unhealthy items in the store were taken out, like tobacco, there would be very little margins to make money, as there is fewer products and markets to sell on. Walgreens hasn't been in any sort of phase of growth, especially in recent years, and the same is true for CVS. The opportunity cost of CVS not selling tobacco is right in terms of progressively offering healthy products, but again, candy, alcohol and so on is something that should be done if they are going to completely meet the healthy standards they stand for. In the end, by having tobacco products, they have a market to sell to and more products to make money with, which in the end is the goal of the business.

  10. The health nazis should mind their own business.


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