American society continues to evolve with regard to how various issues are handled — whether it be the minimum wage (an issue that is quite important to many retailers and to their employees) or the restrictions placed on the sale of certain items.
For decades, retailers have grappled with how to approach the merchandising of tobacco products: Should these products be sold at all? If yes, where should they be displayed? If yes, what policy for IDing tobacco shoppers should be in effect? How actively should no smoking laws be enforced? And the list goes on.
Now, CVS/Caremark — one of the world’s largest drugstore chains — has decided that it will join many other retailers and stop selling tobacco products as of October 2014. What do YOU think about this?
Consider these observations by Stephanie Strom, writing for the New York Times:
“CVS/Caremark’s move was yet another sign of its metamorphosis into becoming more of a health care provider than a largely retail business, with its stores offering more mini clinics and health advice to aid customers visiting its pharmacies. While the company’s decision will cost it an estimated $2 billion in sales from tobacco buyers, that is a mere dent in its overall sales of $123 billion in 2012.”
As Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS said: “We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking. We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.”
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Photo by Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press