Walgreens All Set to Partner With Wing to Launch On-Demand Drone...

Walgreens All Set to Partner With Wing to Launch On-Demand Drone Delivery Pilot

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Monday, January 06, 2020

Vish Sankaran, Chief Innovation Officer, Walgreens Boots

Walgreens is partnering with Wing to offer fast and convenient store to door delivery of food and beverages, health and wellness, and other products to Christiansburg consumers.

FREMONT, CA: Walgreens is all set to join hands with Wing, a drone technology subsidiary of Google, for launching a test delivery program in Christiansburg, Virginia. Sugar Magnolia, a local retailer, is also set to participate in the pilot. FedEx Express will offer the drone delivery services to the authorized residents of Christiansburg by dropping off some packages in a special box via drone.

The companies will make use of the pilot program by offering the availability of the product and home delivery in a short span of time after placing the orders through the Wing app. Thus, the company will explore the future of health and wellness products and retail delivery via air.

Walgreens is a drugstore chain which is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. The company offers the most comfortable, multichannel access to consumer goods and affordable pharmacy, wellness, and health services across America.

Walgreens will provide over-the-counter medicines and other on-demand health and wellness items, while Sugar Magnolia will deliver the cards and small gifts. Drones are expected to deliver all the orders in minutes, thereby demonstrating the potential of the drones to offer new opportunities for businesses to grow, to improvise access to healthcare products and increase the efficiency of last-mile delivery service.

“Through our partnership with Wing, Walgreens will be the first U.S. retailer to offer an on-demand commercial drone delivery option in the U.S., allowing us to explore another omni-channel offering for the delivery of products and services our customers want and need - wherever, whenever and however they may want them,” said Vish Sankaran, Chief Innovation Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. “With this pilot, Walgreens will be in a unique position to capitalize on the convenience of drone delivery if and when it should expand, with approximately 78 percent of the U.S. population living within five miles of a Walgreens store.”

Wing is the first drone operator to acquire government approval which provided the company, the legal authority to handle longer deliveries in Virginia and also apply to work in other states as well.

According to CNN, Wing had already begun working on its delivery capabilities before receiving approval by delivering hundreds of burritos via air at Virginia Tech in 2016. However, the test was limited to a single, closed off-site as compared to the latest delivery program, which will cover several miles.

In the upcoming weeks, Walgreens and Wing will be providing Christiansburg residents with additional information regarding the new offering.

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