"The service component will be an element that is difficult to replicate online," Merlo said at a conference last year.
"Do you have to have half a line for greeting cards? Probably not, and how many different types of shampoos do you need?" – said Lisa Gil, a health analyst at JP Morgan.
Houston stores replace the weaker sections as greeting cards with 20% more space for health products such as asthma and sleep apnea and iPads that study health and wellness applications.  "This is a natural evolution as they have recently bought Aetna," says Ross Muken, an analyst at Evercore ISI, CVS wants to present a "holistic approach to healthcare," he added. Spiral Health Care Costs
This is the largest pharmacy chain in the country and almost 70% of the US population lives within three miles of a CVS shop
The healthcare professionals of the company plus 30,000 people also make their health strategy credible to consumers: "In the healthcare system, one of the most trusted counselors is the pharmacist," Gil says.
CVS bought Aetna to create a giant customer base: it collects health care premiums of around 39 million Americans. The company believes that the acquisition will help reduce costs and increase profits from these plans.
But these stores will face a competition from emergency clinics that appear throughout the country, as well as retailers such as Walmart, who also play a role in healthcare.
CVS sets zero in patients with chronic illnesses as a key way to reduce costs. Patients with chronic illnesses are the most expensive for US insurance. Five conditions account for about 80% of the 3.5 trillion dollars of annual healthcare costs: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and mental health.
"Here we see a great opportunity: Individuals with diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease – we know their name," said Merlot last year. "They do not achieve their best health." Houston stores will also have more rooms for treating patients, as well as hours for health and nutrition seminars. For example, in Houston there is a class with the American Heart Association.
While Houston stores will not have on-site doctors, CVS teamed with TelaDoc, a virtual healthcare platform linking physicians and patients. Avoid traveling with EP
patients coming to her shops for lesser conditions instead of going to the emergency room, which is the most expensive option for caring for insurers like Aetna. Excursions to the emergency can bring thousands of dollars to suppliers at each visit.
"Think about the number of visits that end in the emergency room," Merlo said. – They could be seen in a retail clinic with a fraction of the price.
Trips to clinics increase CVS's profits and enable it to pour money into creating more competitive health insurance plans through Aetna. paying for a customer visit rather than writing a check for a visit to the EP. 90% of cases when patients visit a primary care clinic will get a prescription, Gil says.
So CVS will fill these prescriptions. And if customers stay on until the pharmacy replenishes their recipe, CVS hopes to shop at the recipe add-on shop or one of CVS's new healthy snacks.