Walgreens wants to be seen as 'true healthcare company,' CEO says

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Stefano Pessina said the company wants to move from its image as a retailer toward health, according to CNBC.

The statement comes as Walgreens competitor CVS Health closes in on its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna — which will make CVS the owner of a drugstore, a pharmacy benefit manager and a health insurer. While Walgreens still largely operates as a pharmacy chain, the company has launched partnerships with Humana and LabCorp to test new in-store health services.

"So you will see that in a few years our stores will be completely different and will give lot of prominence, even in front of stores, to health and beauty," Mr. Pessina said during an Oct. 16 interview, according to CNBC.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo and Mr. Pessina may be adding health services to their stores through different strategies, but it's clear both are pivoting toward health.

"I don't say [ours] is the better strategy," Mr. Pessina said. "I don't have the arrogance to criticize what our competitors are doing. … We are a true healthcare company."

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