Events Turn Walmart Supercenters into Wellness Destinations
To turn Walmart’s Supercenter stores into a destination for health and wellness products and information, the retailer executed weekly promotions in 1,000 Supercenters. The in-store, three-day events focused on seven common conditions: Diabetes, Heart Health, Healthy Breathing, Pain and Mobility, Women’s Health, Cold and Flu, and Gastrointestinal, and presented unique drug and nutritional product pairings at on-site kiosks. (One week, allergy drug Advair was featured with Halls and Kleenex, for example, creating a one-stop shop for allergy and cold and flu sufferers.)
Each event was sponsored by a pharmaceutical drug brand and two over-the-counter products (OTC), including Advair, Halls, Kleenex, Nicorette, Kellogg’s All-Bran, Bayer and others. A dedicated four-sided display located in the health and beauty area of the stores merchandised the sponsors’ products for 30 days and was updated weekly. Shoppers had the opportunity to receive samples from OTC sponsors and get more information from RX sponsors. Wellness Ambassadors engaged consumers while they shopped. The entire program was also featured on walmart.com, where the brand uploaded information about the same products featured in stores each week.
Over its six-week run in October and November, the 2008 program featured 11 sponsors and executed over 12,000 events in Walmart stores. The program generated over 900,000 personal interactions with consumers and more than 20 million impressions. Incremental sales occurred during the events, but also continued well beyond the program’s promotional period—in some cases sparking a 440 percent lift in sales. In addition, surveys revealed significant changes in purchase intent and intent to recommend the featured products, as well as a noticeable improvement in perception of the Walmart pharmacy.
“The program helped generate a statistically significant increase in shopper perception of Walmart as a destination for health and wellness,” says Shannon Andrews, Category Marketing, Pharmacy Rx & Clinics at Walmart. “Shopper surveys revealed significant changes in purchase intent, increase in perceptions of the pharmacy as a wellness destination and intent to recommend.”
In 2009, the program ran every week of the year except holidays and featured kiosks that had DVD players running spots or brand introductions for the partners.
Walmart proved that you can turn an everyday visit to the grocery store or pharmacy into an opportunity to add value to your customer’s shopping experience, improve brand perception, establish leadership and drive product sales—all while creating valuable relationships with retail partners. Now that’s good medicine.