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This little pill bottle could explain Target’s troubles


By Mike Timmermann,

Like many other retailers, Target is going through a rough patch as fewer shoppers choose to fill up their carts.

What’s to blame for Target’s troubles?

During the second quarter of 2016, Target’s comparable sales fell 1.1% and the company lowered expectations for the rest of the year.

“Although we are planning for a challenging environment in the back half of the year, we believe we have the right strategy to restore traffic and sales growth over time,” said Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

One explanation for the retailer’s woes? Look no further than the pharmacy counter.

Last year, Target sold its pharmacy business to CVS, which has rebranded Target’s nearly 1,700 pharmacies in 47 states with CVS Pharmacy signage.

But some shoppers aren’t embracing the switch and that may be contributing to a decline in foot traffic.

Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart

Since the changeover, customers have complained about rude staff, customer service hiccups and higher out-of-pocket costs, according to a Consumerist report.

And CVS has eliminated something else that those loyal to Target’s pharmacy really liked: their pill bottles.

Customers: ‘Bring back the bottle’

Introduced in 2005, the ClearRx prescription bottles quickly developed a passionate fan base. The bottle stood on its cap, featured color-coded packaging and an easy-to-read label, Target said in an archived news release.

In fact, some customers said they transferred their prescriptions to Target only because of the pill bottles.

This little pill bottle could explains Target’s troubles

But those popular bottles are now gone, and people who appreciated the uniqueness of them have flooded social media with requests to “bring back the bottle.”

According to Consumerist, a Target representative said the ClearRx patents were included in the sale of Target’s pharmacy business to CVS, but the bottles aren’t currently being used.

However, there still may be hope. Replying to a tweet, CVS acknowledged the popularity of the Target bottles and said the company is looking at its options.

In the meantime, Clark said on the radio show that it may be a good time to look for a new pharmacy, especially if you’re paying more as a result of the change to CVS.

He recommended Costco’s pharmacy, which gets a score of 89 from Consumer Reports’ readers.

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