This drug store market report US report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Drug Stores market including US Drug Stores market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Drug Stores market in the US.

Current market landscape of drug store retail

While the drug store industry in the US faces heavy competition from various retail channels, they also have many opportunities to provide added value to their shoppers. Half of consumers include drug stores as part of their regular shopping routine, meaning retailers still see a fair amount of foot traffic in stores and online. It also means that drug stores have an opportunity to reach consumers across demographics to be a trusted resource for health and wellbeing initiatives. They are well positioned to protect their leadership position in this area as consumers are prioritizing their holistic health in light of the pandemic, and actively seeking out help from retailers and brands.

Future market trends in US Drug Stores

Inflation will impact the price of goods drug stores offer, placing additional pressure on a channel that is already facing challenges to stay competitive within the broader retail landscape. Drug stores are losing shopping trips to other retailers such as mass merchandisers and online-only retailers. These retailers are courting younger consumers, offering them new, fun brands to purchase, engaging experiences in-store and online, and better prices with convenient shopping options. As consumers become more focused on price shopping for goods, drug stores will need to showcase any deals, discounts and promotions they offer in addition to providing value beyond the discount to encourage consumers to shop with them over other merchants.

One opportunity to provide this value is through expanded services, as leading chains are already doing. Mental health is increasingly a focus for individuals and healthcare providers. Drug stores can be part of the conversation and solution to supporting mental healthcare by providing sessions with licensed therapists, connecting consumers to information on how to care for their mental health and classes such as meditation.

COVID-19 testing and vaccinations have helped prop up drug store sales over the last couple of years. Additionally, as consumers have returned to seeing their doctors again with regular frequency, prescription fulfillment has picked up and boosted sales as well. Moving forward, prescriptions will always be a dominant part of drug store revenue streams, but a focus on generic brands and low-cost options could dampen overall sales.

Read on to discover more about the Pharmacy and Drug Store industry in the US, read our US Ingredient Trends in Beauty and Personal Care Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Beauty and Personal Care Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Where consumers shop for their drug store needs and their preferred method of shopping.
  • Additional tools and services consumers would be interested in seeing from drug stores.
  • Items consumers are purchasing from drug stores compared to other channels.
  • Attitudes toward the drug store channel.
  • How consumers think about and use healthcare clinics.
  • Pharmacies & Drug Stores Industry in the US

Covered in this report

Brands include: Amazon, CVS Health, VillageMD, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Rite Aid.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the retail pharmacy market

This report, written by Katie Hansen, a leading analyst in the Retail and eCommerce sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis of the US Drug Store/Pharmacy Market to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Drug stores sit in a mostly comfortable position currently as the channel has seen increased sales from COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters and prescription fulfillment. While the channel holds a small lead in terms of where people shop for healthcare needs, retailers face heavy competition from the likes of mass merchandisers and online-only retailers such as Amazon. To stay relevant to consumers, drug stores will need to examine their offerings and consider expanding their services into areas such as mental healthcare and health coaching opportunities.
Katie Hansen, Retail and eCommerce Analyst
Katie Hansen
Retail and eCommerce Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of drug stores, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 2: Drug store outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Drug stores can continue revamping their health and wellness offerings to be a partner for shoppers
    • Healthcare clinics can be a driver to shop in-store
    • Drug stores face heavy competition for all category sectors
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • Sales trend upwards thanks to prescriptions, vaccinations
      • Figure 3: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of drug stores, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 4: Total US sales and forecast of drug stores, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on drug stores
  4. Segment Performance

    • Prescription dominance continues, albeit with slower growth
      • Figure 5: Percentage of total US drug store revenues, by segment, at current prices, 2016, 2021 and 2026
      • Figure 6: Total US drug store revenues and forecast, by segment, at current prices, 2016-26
  5. Market Factors

    • Prices climb upward with no end in sight
      • Figure 7: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2020-21
    • Drug stores need to work on their trust falls with consumers
    • Health concerns could drive drug store visits
    • Pharmacies face challenges with technician shortage
  6. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Amazon, Walgreens continue to focus on providing added healthcare value to consumers
    • The opportunity
      • Figure 8: Amazon focuses on pharmacy offerings
    • CVS Health invests in national maternal healthcare
    • The opportunity
      • Figure 9: CVS invests in maternal healthcare
    • Working from home changes skincare needs
    • The opportunity
    • Drug stores should expand services, rethink products offered
    • The opportunity
      • Figure 10: Walgreens talks about mental health
    • Technology will help drug stores offer more value to shoppers
    • The opportunity
  7. The Drug Store Consumer: Fast Facts

  8. Retailers Shopped

    • Where consumers are shopping
    • Traditional drug stores gain back some of consumers’ shopping trips
      • Figure 11: Stores shopped for drug store items, 2021
    • Younger consumers are seeking retailers that offer engagement, experiences
      • Figure 12: Walgreens taps into nostalgia to connect with younger consumers
      • Figure 13: Stores shopped for drug store items, by gender and age, 2021
    • Provide parents with a reason to make a stop
      • Figure 14: Stores shopped for drug store items, by parental status, 2021
    • How consumers are shopping
    • The in-store experience remains a key part of the shopping journey
      • Figure 15: How items are shopped for, by generation and parental status, 2021
    • Offer shoppers a streamlined, seamless shopping journey online and off
      • Figure 16: Online shopping frequency, 2021
    • Millennials lead online charge; older consumers shouldn’t be ignored
      • Figure 17: Online shopping frequency, by generation, 2021
  9. Important Drug Store Attributes

    • Focus on initiatives that tout affordability, build trust
      • Figure 18: CVS highlights its own store brands
      • Figure 19: Drug store attributes, 2021
    • Drug stores need to provide value to women
      • Figure 20: Drug store attributes, by gender, 2021
    • Relating to younger adults through convenience, values and experiences
      • Figure 21: Drug store attributes, by generation, 2021
  10. Drug Store Items Purchased

    • Drug stores maintain a small lead in only one category
      • Figure 22: Items purchased at stores – Category nets, 2021
    • Drug stores win with prescriptions; need to encourage visits for other items
      • Figure 23: Items purchased at stores, 2021
    • Care for the unique needs of men and women
      • Figure 24: CVS highlights inclusivity in beauty
      • Figure 25: Items purchased at drug stores, by gender, 2021
    • Lean into household goods, BPC to connect with Hispanic consumers
      • Figure 26: Select items purchased at drug stores – Category nets, by Hispanic origin, 2021
  11. Tools & Services of Interest at Drug Stores

    • An increased focus on holistic health will drive adoption of expanded services
      • Figure 27: CVS shows benefits of supplements
      • Figure 28: Tools and services of interest, 2021
    • Younger generations seek assistance in managing their mental health
      • Figure 29: Tools and services of interest, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 30: CVS encourages better habits
    • Develop trust with Hispanic consumers
      • Figure 31: Tools and services of interest, by Hispanic origin, 2021
  12. Attitudes toward Drug Stores

    • Consumers trust drug stores for guidance, recommendations
      • Figure 32: Attitudes toward drug stores – Knowledge seeking, 2021
    • Offer assistance to meet individual needs of each generation
      • Figure 33: Attitudes toward drug stores – Knowledge seeking, by generation, 2021
    • Technology will help fuel the drug store experience
      • Figure 34: Attitudes toward drug stores – Technology, 2021
    • Parents rely on tech for family management
      • Figure 35: Attitudes toward drug stores – Technology, by gender, 2021
      • Figure 36: CVS reminds consumers to schedule appointments
    • Drug stores should explore more ways to offer value to shoppers
      • Figure 37: Attitudes toward drug stores – Value, 2021
    • Focus on social to offer value to younger generations
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward drug stores – Value, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 39: Walgreens partners with Ariana Grande
  13. Drug Store Healthcare Clinics

    • Healthcare clinic visits get a boost from vaccinations
      • Figure 40: Healthcare clinics visited, 2021
    • Retail clinics can provide better healthcare access, build trust with multicultural consumers
      • Figure 41: Healthcare clinic visited – Any retail clinic, by key demographics, 2021
    • Offer incentives, knowledge resources to drive clinic visits
      • Figure 42: Attitudes toward healthcare clinics, 2021
    • Consumers of all generations likely to visit clinics if they can save time and/or money
      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward healthcare clinics, by generation, 2021
    • Multicultural consumers need more services and proof to understand quality of care
      • Figure 44: Attitudes toward healthcare clinics, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  15. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 45: Total US drug store revenues and forecast, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 46: Drug store sales and forecast of health, beauty and personal care products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 47: Drug store sales and forecast of food and beverages, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 48: Drug store sales and forecast of general merchandise, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 49: Drug store sales and forecast of other*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
  16. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 50: Attitudes toward drug stores – Knowledge seeking, by household income, 2021

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