Amazon did a thing, and now CVS is doing a thing back. It’s another day in the life of a citizen who watches in wonder and awe — and maybe a little boredom — as two companies engage one another in a war of expansion and self-defense.
As if Amazon wasn’t large enough, the major web-based retailer recently took on the mantle of sending medical gear, which required an application for licenses in several states to permit it first. It seems that’s panning out just fine for them, and their next priority is to advance into the territory of shipping prescription medications and emergency goods using drones. We’re not sure how state legislature will feel about that one — what if a drone somehow doesn’t make the delivery and the pills end up in the wrong hands? — but Amazon will find a way, we’re sure.
Small-box retailers that emphasize the provision of medical goods and services such as Rite Aid are now a little worried about what this means for them in the distant future. While short-term protective measures can be taken to stanch the bleed, it seems that Amazon’s grip over the net-based retail environment has given them a near-limitless source of power to throw the industry for a loop in whatever way they see fit. Whole Foods was recently swallowed up by the net giant; Toys “R” Us recently lost their footing; now CVS is on the move with inquiries into the acquisition of health insurance giant Aetna to box themselves into a safe corner where Amazon hopefully can’t touch them.
If this is going to pan out, CVS will need to amp up their back-end support. If there’s one thing to learn from all this, it’s that the Internet is insanely powerful, and while CVS is bound to its brick-and-mortar stores to a large extent, they can leverage that with the help of industry legends such as Drew Madden to help them provide healthcare services that even Amazon can’t surpass. Madden’s name is raised in particular because he’s also on the move to keep companies like this alive and kicking. Keep an eye out on the news in the medical industry; you just might see more of him coming around.