As the healthcare landscape continues to change in the United States, an increasing number of consumers are looking to take greater control of their own well-being, starting at where they shop — for food, personal care, fitness and pharmacy. HellaWella spoke with Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP, Sam's Club Consumables and Health and Wellness for her insights on today's customers and the steps Sam's Club has taken to make their stores a destination for health.
1. What are some of the latest health-and-wellness trends that you’re seeing today?
More than 10,000 people in the United States turn 65 years old every day. This growth in the aging population has led to an increased number of people who care for loved ones in their homes. To help address this trend, we recently launched a new program for family caregivers, including a dedicated web page that helps our members find the products, expert advice and savings they need to make care-giving easier (SamsClub.com/caregiving). As the population ages, technology is also advancing. As a result, people are becoming more proactive than ever about their own health. For example, one big trend we’re seeing is an increasing use of wearable technology that lets people track their own fitness. As people learn more about nutrition and sustainability, we’re also seeing an increasing demand for organic food and personal care products. Overall, it’s clear that consumers are becoming more health conscious in their daily lives.
2. What are today's consumers expecting from their grocery stores, warehouse clubs and pharmacies in terms of health-related products and services?
Consumers are looking for a simplified shopping experience where they can get everything they need in one place, including health products and services. Consumers also expect stores to make it easy for them to choose healthy options, so a quick shopping trip doesn’t have to mean an unhealthy one.
3. How has the warehouse club pharmacy’s role in patient health care changed in recent years?
Warehouse clubs have traditionally been known as places to buy bulk quantities of food and office supplies at low prices. But today, as healthcare costs rise, our pharmacies are also becoming a go-to destination for affordable products and services. For example, eligible Sam’s Club members save on prescription and generic medications through our Extra Value Drug List. We also collaborate with Aetna to provide quality health insurance coverage with exclusive benefits to our business members, their employees and families in an easy online shopping experience known as the Aetna Marketplace at Sam’s Club.
4. What health services might people not be aware of that are offered by Sam’s Club pharmacies? What pharmacy services are available to non-members?
Some people are surprised to learn that Sam’s Club pharmacies are not just for members. Nonmembers are welcome to use our pharmacies, as well as our Optical and Vision Centers. We also offer one of the most comprehensive free health screening programs of any retailer, which is open to both members and the public. As a club of the community, we think it’s important to support the health and wellness of members and nonmember alike. That said, Sam’s Club members are eligible for exclusive benefits. For example, our prescription savings program enables eligible Plus members to save even more money on generic prescriptions, some of which are available free of charge or at a discounted cost of $4 or $10 for a 30-day supply. Through our Extra Value Drug List, Sam’s Club Business and Plus members also receive 10-30% savings on select brand name medications.
5. How does health and wellness factor into other areas of the club?
We strive to offer healthy solutions in every corner of the club. For example, beyond our pharmacy offerings, we have a variety of fresh organic foods, vitamins and supplements, oral care products, wearable health devices and exercise equipment and apparel. In fact, we’ve made it really easy for shoppers to identify healthy, organic foods. Just look for the green tags around the club highlighting these items. Every Sam’s Club location also offers copies of Healthy Living Made Simple — a free, bi-monthly publication that is geared towards healthy living.
6. Do you see Sam’s Club becoming more of a health-and-wellness destination? Do you think some people consider it a first-stop destination for common health products/questions/issues?
Absolutely. Our mission is to be a full service healthcare destination. With 613 Sam’s Club Pharmacy locations, it’s easy for people to drop by their local club to pick up groceries, fulfill prescriptions or talk to a pharmacist about their everyday health questions. We also offer walk-in immunizations year-round for both children and adults. Our free health screenings are also a great first stop for people who want an easy way to learn more about their overall health.
7. What health-and-wellness initiatives are next on the horizon for Sam’s Club?
We are constantly striving to find new ways to make health care more accessible. For example, we are currently testing in-club activations of our family caregiver program, including special kiosks that will bring our online program into the club at select locations around the country. We are also hosting another free health screening on Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We hope everyone will stop by!
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