Ballsy, CVS, very ballsy

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ballsy, CVS, very ballsy

An absolute stunner! Per The New York Times:

CVS Vows to Quit Selling Tobacco Products

"CVS Caremark, the country's largest drugstore chain in overall sales, announced on Wednesday that it planned to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October."

Wow! I love it, having quit cigarettes in August 1966 and declaring Big Tobacco hostis humani generis, enemies of all mankind.

CVS President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlow was more low-key and logical in his public statement:

"We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don't go together in the same setting."

This is at once an almost unheard of display of corporate morality... and, hey!, let's not dodge it, a brilliant public relations coup!

It's also going to impact CVS' bottom above-the-line to the tune of $2 billion per year which, with an estimated annual gross sales figure of $123 billion from their more than 7600 stores, the company can afford it.

The cynic in me, however, has to wonder if, with the in­creased acceptance of legalised cannabis for medical pur­poses, CVS isn't playing the long game here?

Still... huge, admiring props from OtBB! Well struck, CVS!


1. ACR said...

Major kudos to CVS... they will recover their lost net profits (which are probably not much anyway on something as competitive as cigarettes) by the positive ink they will get. Hopefully other similar outfits will follow and find a better use of their shelf space.

Not to sound too picky, but doesn't "bottom line" refer to net profits rather than net sales?

  1. My thinking as well... it's still ballsy! Particularly by just being first. What will be the response from Big Tabaccy?
  2. You're absolutely right! I should have made that distinction... and now I have. Thanks.

2. ACR said...

re #1: try to buy CVS and grow/sell pot???

Look at the money Big Pharma spends on lobbying now! As both Medical and Personal Marijuana becomes more and more decriminalized and controlled/taxed in Government licensed cannabis boutiques, a couple of laws amended and shazam!, there's CVS with all that shelf space and DEA-licensed pharmacists already on premises!

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