CVS demonstrates strong retail gains in Q3

COVID-19 vaccinations helped drive foot traffic and cash register rings at the front of the store.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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CVS Health reported a strong third quarter, highlighted by its ability to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and a stark increase in sales for its front-of-store retail business. 

The two could be related, as vaccines helped drive foot traffic, according to and its report of activity at CVS and Walgreens, recording a rise in foot traffic north of 40% for the chains in August, and a rise of 22% and 26% in September for CVS and Walgreens, respectively.

For the quarter, CVS reported its front-of-store sales increased 22% for the retail/long-term care segment for the quarter vs. the same period a year ago. Overall, the Woonsocket, R.I.-based chain saw Q3 revenues up 10% year over year, totaling $73.8 billion. Total revenues year to date increased to $215.5 billion, an increase of 8.2% compared with the prior-year period. GAAP diluted earnings per share were $4.98 and adjusted earnings per share were $6.43.

“We outperformed expectations once again and continue to lead the way in changing how, when and where care is delivered for millions of Americans,” said CVS Health president and CEO Karen Lynch. “Our services are responsive to evolving consumer needs, from administering millions of COVID-19 tests and vaccines to offering primary care accessible from virtually anywhere, and our touchpoints allow for unmatched impact."

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In its brand assortment, the chain also announced it would be bolstering its ExtraCare BeautyClub loyalty program, including the choice of a free beauty product when $30 is spent on qualifying beauty purchases.

In addition, members of the loyalty program will be able to earn an additional 10% ExtraBucks on designated days, including the semiannual CVS Epic Beauty event and Beauty VIP Private Sales events, for a maximum of $20 per event, the company said.

The beauty events tout personalized offers for its members and access to CVS store brand and exclusive products. “Our reimagined loyalty programs are designed to meet our customers’ evolving wants and needs” said Michele Driscoll, the vice president of customer engagement, loyalty and personalization at CVS Health. “We’re thrilled to bring our ExtraCare program members more flexibility in how they earn and spend their beloved ExtraBucks rewards and now offer our BeautyClub members exciting insider access, monthly gifts and extra rewards."