Walgreens is one of the most reputable drugstores in the United States.
It has over 9,000 stores across the country.
Apart from pharmaceuticals, the store sells other items like groceries, electronics, etc.
However, it is one of the most expensive options among its competitors.
So what makes it so costly?
Walgreens is costly because of its convenience.
You can get almost everything under one roof.
It is more convenient than moving from one store to another.
Also, the buying trends, demands, competitors make Walgreens adjust their prices slightly higher.
This article will discuss why Walgreens is costly and some of the most asked questions.
Why is Walgreens so expensive?
Walgreens is a reliable drug and other convenience products store.
Despite it being famous, it is among the most expensive brands.
So, without so much ado, let’s dive in and discuss the top 9 reasons.
Walgreens make sure that their stores are located not very far from where 78% of people reside.
It is to ensure that they offer convenience.
Also, they have 24 hours services, so you can walk in at any time you want and get what you need.
Walgreens increase its prices because of these conveniences.
It makes it more costly than other grocery stores.
Changes prices on buying trends
Prices of some products vary from different buying trends.
For example, if a drug is in high demand, customers have no option but to buy it because they can’t do without them.
So Walgreens take the same advantage to increase the prices of that specific drugs.
Despite the high prices, they still make huge sales because the customers still buy the drugs.
Also, most people do not look at the premium price tag because of their convenience.
Matching competitors’ pricing
One of the reasons you will find a Walgreen store expensive is that they try to match the competitors.
When they realize that a competitor’s price is above theirs, they adjust theirs to match the competitor’s.
For example, if CVS, their competitor, sells a drug at $300, they will ensure that they sell it at the same rate.
Walgreen does not have to reduce the price of its drugs for people to buy because of its convenience.
Offer a wide range of services
Walgreens does not offer only drugs like regular drug stores.
It has positioned itself above that by providing a wide range of services.
Walgreens offers other value-adding services.
These services include:
- free shipping of items
- return policies
- automatic refilling of drugs
- frequent text reminders
Therefore, the brand charges its consumers because they get more than just items.
So these factors make the brand to be costly.
They make some products expensive to compensate for the cheaper ones
When you visit Walgreen’s stores, you notice that they regularly give offers to some products.
To compensate for the profit margin of the items, they increase the price tags of other products.
However, the customers don’t realize it.
That is why you will find that some items are pretty expensive compared to other stores.
They use a trick to compensate for the reduced prices on some products.
It is has specialized only on drugs and not other products
Walgreens is not a specialist in other products they sell apart from drugs.
So they cannot leverage the optimization.
Therefore, they raise the prices of the products to cover the costs.
Stores specializing in specific items sell their products at lower prices.
It is because they can leverage bulk discounts.
Also, they can optimize their supply chains to reduce costs.
To make people join their balance reward program
If you are an avid buyer of Walgreens, you might have heard of their reward program.
They have a Balance Reward program where customers get discount coupons or points.
Consumers can redeem them later and use them when buying products from the store.
So they keep their prices high to make their customers join the program to avoid paying so much money.
It also makes the customers keep buying to get discounted prices using the coupons.
They increase prices for people without insurance
People who have insurance covers may find Walgreens somehow affordable.
But it is very costly for those who buy drugs from their pockets.
Insurance companies negotiate the prices of drugs on behalf of their clients.
So Walgreens give them prescriptions at a reduced price.
So for Walgreens to cover the reduced costs on the insured, they pass the cost to those prices buying for cash.
No regulations government on drug pricing
The United States federal government does not regulate the drugs sold in the country.
So a drug store like Walgreens decides on the amount to sell their drugs.
Therefore, they increase the prices to have a more significant profit margin.
So this is why you may notice that the drug prices vary from state to state.
You can also sign for government programs that have cost control.
But those other private companies have no regulations.
They set up prices the way they want.
How to save money at Walgreens
Walgreen is an expensive brand, but you can still save some money on it despite that.
Below are some strategies that will save you some pennies.
- You can use manufacturers’ coupons. Walgreens accepts coupons from manufacturers. So it is good to be on the lookout in your local newspapers. It will save you big.
- Subscribe to Walgreens newsletter. You will be among the first to get notified if they give discounts on their products.
- Join the Walgreens reward program. You will get discount coupons and reward points to redeem and purchase items.
- Join the prescription saving club. Drugs can cause a dent in your pockets if you are not careful. By enrolling in the membership program, you get deals on some services. You get discounts on vaccinations and other drugs not covered by the insurance. However, you will have to pay $20 for individuals and $35 for families and pets.
- You can save money by earning points through healthy activities. If you take part in health programs designed by Walgreens, they reward you with some cash. You can use the reward to purchase from their stores.
- Shop on seniors day. Every Tuesday of every month, Walgreens celebrates people aged 55 and above. They give 20% on some eligible items. So you can take that advantage and shop during that period.
- Check out Walgreens clearance sections. Next time you visit the Walgreens store, make sure you check the clearance section. You may be lucky to get heavily discounted products. But for best deals, make sure you shop immediately after a sale season.
- Get a flu shot- when you get a flu shot at Walgreens, you get a $5 reward that you can use on your next visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions on Walgreens.
Is Walgreens more expensive than Walmart?
Walgreens and Walmart are both reputable retail shops.
However, Walgreens is more expensive, and its prices are high compared to Walmarts’.
Although Walmarts are cheaper, they are not convenient as Walgreens.
Their stores are located far from where the larger population lives.
So getting to their store might be tiresome if you live far.
But for Walgreens, they are convenient despite their premium prices.
They make sure to put a store where 78% of a state’s population is situated.
But if you have a car, you can access a Walmart store within 5minutes.
Walgreens charges its products at 40% more than Walmart.
Is Walgreens more expensive than CVS?
Walgreens is more expensive than CVS.
It is because it is specialized in drugs only and not in other products.
So it is not able to leverage the other efficiencies and optimizations.
So it ends up raising the prices of its items to cover the other costs.
But in some products, CVS prices are higher than those of Walgreen.
For example, the original Maybelline is more expensive at CVS than at Walgreens.
Is Walgreens more expensive than target?
Walmart prices are significantly higher than those of target.
Walgreens increase its products’ prices because of its convenience to its customers.
So this factor makes its products to be way above those of target.
You might end up paying 55% more on common goods in Walgreens that are cheaper in other retailers.
So the prices at Walgreens are high because you pay for convenience.
Is Walgreens more expensive than rite Aid?
Walgreens’ prices on products are higher than those of rite aids.
A study by the ‘National consumers’ league and change to win retail initiatives found that:
Walgreens was likely to charge five times more than other brands for the same item.
But as we have mentioned above, Walgreens is expensive because of its convenience.
Unlike most of its competitors, the brand operates for 24 hours.
Also, the stores get located where there is a significant state population.
However, you can also find rite aids charging some of their products more than Walgreens.
As we wrap up this article, we can clearly understand why Walgreens is so expensive.
It is very convenient and thus makes consumers pay for it.
Having not specialized in other products, Walgreens increases prices to cover the costs.
It is because it cannot leverage the other efficiencies and optimizations.
Although Walgreens is so costly, the brand does not lower its prices.
It is because of the convince it gives to its customers.
Walgreens has recorded massive sales despite getting criticized for its premium prices.
About Dawson Kutch
Dawson Kutch is a born and raised Alaskan who loves the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Kutch has been an avid hunter and fisher his entire life, and takes great pride in providing for himself and his family. While he enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, Kutch also has a passion for fashion and loves to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In his free time, Kutch enjoys spending time with his wife and one young daughter. He is always looking to learn more and better himself, both as a writer and as a person.