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Walgreens in pilot of vision care center


Walgreens Boots Alliance is piloting a retail vision care center within the Walgreens flagship in the Wrigley Building in Chicago, the company recently revealed, taking what has been a successful page out of its U.K.-based Boots Pharmacy division and applying that strategy to the U.S. market.

"Walgreens believes vision care, combining health and fashion, has potential as an expanded offering as it strives to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty retailer," Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham told Drug Store News, a sister publication of Chain Store Age. "At present we are piloting just one store and will use that experience to determine the timing and location of any similar, potential future store enhancements."

In the United Kingdom, Boots actually is one of the leaders in the optical market with 636 practices, Walgreens Boots Alliance reported, of which 182 operate on a franchise basis. Approximately 30% of these optical practices are located in Boots stores with the balance being standalone optical practices.

Walgreens may be taking a similar approach in Chicago, as the services at Walgreens Optical are being provided by an independently owned company whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by Walgreens.

The new Walgreens Optical offers comprehensive eye exams from fully-licensed optometrists and opticians, advanced lenses from leading companies and a full selection of frames and price points.

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