Original article published on Vending Times by Nick Montano
WOONSOCKET, RI — CVS Pharmacy is piloting vending machines stocked with on-the-go necessities typically sold at its stores. The drugstore chain will unveil the first 25 machines in New England and New York State between now and the end of October. New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and Boston’s South Station Bus Terminal, as well as office parks and college campuses, will be among the vender’s first location hosts.
The CVS vending machine is based Swyft Inc.’s automated retailing assembly, which has a 15-sq.ft. footprint and supports up to 200 product facings. Each CVS machine will be customized with a menu of more than 70 products. They include over-the-counter remedies, beauty and personal care items, and vitamins, along with first aid supplies, batteries, phone chargers, earbuds, lint rollers and stain-removal sticks. The machine’s 22″ touchscreen displays product images and information, and reads QR promotional codes.
“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” said senior vice-president of front store business and chief merchant at CVS Pharmacy. Judy Sansone. “Our new CVS Pharmacy vending machine program allows us to extend that convenience beyond our brick-and-mortar locations to offer customers on-the-go essentials in the locations where they often need them most, like airports, hotels and other transportation hubs.”
CVS said it is considering an additional 50-plus locations throughout the country including college campuses, corporate offices, hotels and other transportation hubs to host vending machines in the future.
Swyft, a high-tech vending company, was started in 2013 by Australian entrepreneur Gower Smith. Smith is also the founder of another vending machine developer, ZoomSystems, which he exited in 2011.