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CVS is testing out free curbside pickup, with plans to expand the service later this year.
The chain announced today that it is partnering with a startup tech company called Curbside to offer the new service, dubbed “CVS Express.”
CVS is already among the major retailers that offer free store pickup for online orders and to boast that orders are ready for pickup in as little as one hour.
The free curbside service is different in that you place your order on the CVS mobile app rather than at CVS.com, and CVS workers bring your order out to your car. When using this service, you don’t have to enter the store.
Your purchase is ready for curbside pickup within about an hour, and the pickup process takes 20 seconds because Curbside’s detection software notifies store workers when you are approaching, according to a news release issued today.
Curbside co-founder and CEO Jaron Waldman explains:
“We founded Curbside to help make shopping at neighborhood stores faster and easier than ever before. Our proprietary location technology ensures seamless, reliable order handoff at the moment a customer arrives and our console app powers an efficient pick and pack operation for CVS Pharmacy colleagues to prepare orders in the store.”
As with in-store pickup at CVS, there are no markups or fees for curbside pickup.
CVS Express is currently available in three cities:
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- San Francisco
The service will reach other CVS locations later this year. Helena B. Foulkes, CVS president, tells Fortune:
“We have an asset that is valuable, which is 8,000 locations all across the country, and rather than thinking about the world of e-commerce as a stand-alone, let’s leverage 8,000 stores.”
Regular store items and over-the-counter drugs are available for purchase via CVS Express. Prescription drugs cannot be purchased for curbside pickup, although some CVS locations include drive-through pharmacies.