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Technology

Walgreens To Test Drone Delivery Service In The US

US drugstore chain Walgreens has announced a partnership with drone-operator, Wing Aviation LLC, to test a 'store to door' delivery service offering health and wellness, food and beverage, and convenience items.

The service aims to cater to customers who require immediate deliveries but cannot leave home.

A member of the Alphabet family of companies, Wing is the first drone operator to be certified as an air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year.

Transforming Customer Experience

Commenting on the partnership, chief innovation officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., Vish Sankaran, said, "Walgreens continues to explore partnerships to transform and modernise our customer experience and we are proud to be the first retailer in the US to offer an on-demand commercial drone delivery option with Wing."

Starting October, the service will be available to customers residing in Christiansburg in Virginia.

The service offers a range of more than 100 products and six convenience 'packs', and includes many of Walgreens most sought-after in-store products.

Customers can either choose individual products they need, or opt for pre-built packs classified as under the categories of allergy, baby, cough/cold, first aid, pain, and kids’ snacks.

'Omnichannel partnership'

Sankaran added, "With a customer-led focus, we continue to create differentiated shopping experiences that provide the products and services consumers need wherever, whenever and however they may want them.

"This is the kind of omnichannel partnership and offering that can redefine convenience for our customers and communities – delivering items to homes in minutes, not hours or days."

Since 2016, Wing has been working closely with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to test drone delivery as part of the US Department of Transportation’s Integration Pilot Programme, Walgreens said.

The pilot project places the drugstore chain in a position to capitalise on the convenience of drone delivery, in case the retailer expands the service in the future.

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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