CVS Health, the largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., announced last week that SmileDirectClub (SDC) will expand their SmileShops to hundreds of CVS Pharmacy locations. SDC’s SmileShops will serve as a hub where patients can receive a 3D digital image used to create clear aligners in a process overseen by a network of over 200 dentists and orthodontists.
SDC piloted six SmileShops in CVS locations earlier this year; the companies now plan to expand the offering to hundreds of CVS pharmacies by the end of 2019.
The announcement comes at a time when dental services are available at more and more venues outside traditional stand-alone dental offices.
Aspen Dental, a dental support organization with more than 600 locations nationwide, announced earlier this year that they were piloting two dental locations built inside Walgreens stores. Walgreens is the second largest pharmacy chain in the U.S.
And in 2017 Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system, expanded their in-store healthcare clinics at Target, bringing the total number of sites to 35 in Southern California.
Many forward-looking brick-and-mortar retailers that managed to survive the stunning rise of e-commerce are looking to offer services that online retailers like Amazon simply can’t provide in the virtual realm. Both CVS and Walgreens have been doing just that with their in-store healthcare clinics. Now that they are also branching out into dental, others may very well follow suit.