CVS is investing in healthy food and Beyond Meat burgers, which could drastically improve quality food choices to Americans in “food deserts”

beyond meat cvs
CVS has more locations nationwide than Walmart and Kroger combined.

  • CVS is bringing Beyond Meat to 7,000 stores and increasing gluten-free, vegan snacks and foods.
  • CVS, which has more US stores than Walmart and Kroger combined, could better serve “food deserts.”
  • “CVS is ubiquitous in neighborhoods and communities across America,” Beyond Meat told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CVS is bringing healthy foods and meat-alternatives to communities across America.

The pharmacy chain and Beyond Meat just announced a partnership that would bring meat-alternative burgers and meatballs to 7,000 stores nationwide. CVS will also add 60 new “better for you” snacks and 50 new frozen foods that are vegan, organic, gluten-free, plant based, and zero-sugar-added.

Now valued at $8.7 billion, Beyond Meat became the first plant-based meat-substitute company to go public just two years ago. The company has continued to expand by partnering with McDonald’s and Taco Bell, as traditional meat seller Tyson rushes to catch up with its own plant-based line.

The deal may suggest Beyond Meat decreasing its reliance on foodservice. Foodservice sales through restaurants that sell Beyond Meat, including Carl’s Jr. and BurgerFi, dropped 31% year-over-year in 2020, CEO Ethan Brown said on a recent earnings call.

Revenue from retail, however, increased by 108% between 2019 and 2020, but Brown said the trend will drop in 2021 as the pandemic subsides. “We’ve got a lot of room still to grow in retail,” Brown said.

The CVS partnership, which represented the first pharmacy Beyond Meat sold at, could be its first step into retail growth.

“CVS is ubiquitous in neighborhoods and communities across America, and Beyond Meat is proud to partner with them as our first pharmacy partner to bring increased choice and access to nutritious food options to their consumers,” a Beyond Meat spokesperson told Insider. “The addition of the Beyond Burger and Beyond Meatballs at CVS aligns with CVS’ larger effort to help its millions of customers make healthier choices.”

How bringing Beyond Meat to CVS could bring meat-alternatives to food deserts.

CVS sells more groceries than Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, the Guardian reported, due to the store’s prevalence in low-income areas that don’t have access to high-end grocery stores.

CVS has nearly 10,000 locations in the US, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Kroger, the company’s largest supermarket, has just 2,750 locations. Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, has 5,342 stores as of January 2021 – meaning CVS has more stores than Kroger and Walmart combined.

The lack of quality grocery stores in disproportionately low-income areas result in “food deserts,” or areas more than a mile from fresh produce-sellers that rely more on processed and pre-packaged food.

Diets that limit processed foods and sugary beverages are associated with higher life expectancy. But there’s twice as many supermarkets carrying fresh produce in higher-income areas than lower-income ones, per non-profit World of Vegan, and just 2% of meat alternatives are available in low-income areas.

Nutritionists told Insider’s Aria Bendix that Beyond Meat, though processed and just as caloric as beef burgers, is high in fiber and protein, and can provide a better alternative to red meat. Beyond Meat can also lead to fewer instances of food poisoning than when consuming beef.

Bringing Beyond Meat and other “better for you” snack options to CVS locations might lessen the reliance on junk food in “food deserts.” Better access to nutritional food would be most beneficial to Black and Latino Americans, whose communities have fewer supermarkets than their white counterparts, per Johns Hopkins.

“The expanded assortment of food items is the latest way we serve as a premier health and wellness destination, making it easier for millions of customers to access healthier choices and meal solutions without having to make extra trips to specialty and grocery stores,” a CVS spokesperson said in a statement.

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I got the COVID-19 vaccine at a CVS, and it was so fast and efficient that it’s not hard to understand how the chain has already vaccinated 10 million Americans

CVS vaccine covid
  • Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at CVS was wildly efficient and easy.
  • From signing up to checking in to the shot itself, the process was organized and concise.
  • The experience helped me to understand why CVS has already vaccinated over 10 million Americans.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

On Thursday morning, CVS announced an important milestone in the race to vaccinate Americans against the coronavirus: 10 million shots delivered, and capacity to administer up to 25 million shots per month.

Later that morning, I walked into a CVS on Staten Island and became one of the next 10 million.

The process of getting vaccinated at CVS was so friendly, so efficient, and so well organized that it helped me understand why the pharmacy chain is able to vaccinate so many folks so quickly.

Earlier this week, when vaccine appointment eligibility opened to anyone in New York 30 years of age and older, I went to the CVS scheduling tool, plugged in my information, and found a surprising number of open appointments for Staten Island locations.

CVS appointment confirmation

I scheduled an appointment for Thursday morning, and received a confirmation email soon after.

As someone who’s been trying, and failing, to buy a PlayStation 5 for months, it was a surprisingly glitch-free experience using the CVS scheduling tool. I was able to simply enter information, select a time, and confirm my selection.

On Thursday morning, before embarking on the lengthy drive from the middle of Brooklyn to the middle of Staten Island, I got a text message from CVS with a link to digitally check in when I arrived at the store:

CVS vaccine check in

An hour-plus later, I parked my car and digitally signed in. Having told CVS I was at the store, I turned off my car and walked inside.

Before I could even begin to be confused as to where I should go, I spotted a check-in desk.

Immediately to the right of the entryway doors, CVS employees had created a temporary check-in desk for vaccinations:

CVS check-in for COVID vaccinations
Don’t be fooled by the desk being empty – the employee who was working the desk didn’t want to be in the photo!

There was no line, and check-ins were being handled simply: With a highlighter on paper.

After I gave my name, I was instructed to proceed down the adjacent aisle where a handful of people were already lined up on socially-distanced squares marked on the ground.

As we waited, another CVS employee with a clipboard walked down the line, took IDs, and filled out each person’s coveted CDC vaccination card with information about their first shot – it’s the card that everyone takes selfies with, even though you probably shouldn’t.

By the time I’d received my card, I was moving to the next step of the process: Checking in for a second time with an employee behind a computer who confirmed my address.

At this point, I could see the full operation. Employees had essentially set up a flexible assembly line for vaccinating people, and it was moving rapidly.

CVS vaccination lobby, Staten Island
The endpoint of vaccination, behind the blue plastic curtain, with recently vaccinated patients waiting on the left.

From where I was, the next step was getting vaccinated, and then waiting the requisite 15 minutes just in case I had a reaction.

Employees had smartly used self checkout dividers to turn their pharmacy lobby into a socially distanced waiting room. “Endcap” products were displaced for seated patients who were able to sit directly next to each other due to the dividers.

CVS vaccination area, Staten Island, NY.

The shot itself was quick, and relatively painless, as expected.

The man who gave me the shot asked if I had any questions, and I blurted out a silly question that I already knew the answer to (“When will I be fully vaccinated?”), and he kindly answered something he’s assuredly answered a thousand times already (“You’ll receive the full benefits of the vaccination two weeks after your second shot.”).

The same employee who gave me my CDC vaccination card ushered me over to the seating area and asked how I was, so I enthusiastically said I was “feeling great.” The truth, of course, is I was feeling unbelievably happy and hopeful for the first time in what feels like forever. It’s been over a year, folks! There’s no getting that time back!

She handed me a 15 minute timer, and I took a seat.

CVS vaccine waiting
You can tell I haven’t been out that much for the past year because my hat is in disarray.

About halfway through my 15-minute wait, an employee came over to ask how I was feeling once again, and I marveled at how swift and efficient their process was. She relayed how happy it made her to help people get vaccinated, and said it makes the day go all the faster.

My appointment was scheduled for 10:45 a.m., and I was back in my car on the way out of the parking lot by 11:21 a.m. I may or may not have bought Easter candy at CVS before leaving, which assuredly added a minute or two.

All in, the process took a little over half an hour from start to finish, and everyone was a delight along the way. From what I saw, it makes perfect sense that CVS is rolling through so many vaccinations so quickly – they’re doing it very well.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (, or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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CVS expands its COVID-19 vaccine program to 29 states as more doses become available

CVS pharmacy

  • The added states include Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina.
  • CVS is now administering vaccines in around 1,200 stores across 29 states, the company said.
  • Appointments for the doses in just-added states are available for booking starting Saturday, CVS said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Starting Saturday, eligible residents in another 12 states can begin booking COVID-19 vaccinations at CVS pharmacy.

This week, the vaccines rolled out to CVS locations in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Minnesota, and Vermont.

The company is now administering vaccines in nearly 1,200 stores across 29 states and Puerto Rico, Philadelphia and New York City, CVS Health said in a statement.

“We’re increasing the number of active stores and expanding to additional states as fast as supply allows, with the capacity to administer 20 25 million shots per month,” said Karen S. Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “We’re also focused on priority populations, including vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as well as teachers and school support staff.”

The expansion comes as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that was announced by the White House last month, stipulating that over 40,000 pharmacies nationwide will receive vaccine doses to give to eligible populations.

In February, select CVS Pharmacy locations began offering COVID-19 vaccine doses in 17 states as part of the program.

President Joe Biden announced earlier this month that pre-K through 12 educators, staff, and child care workers should receive at least one shot of the two-dose vaccine by the end of March.

This eligible group made up over 30% of COVID-19 vaccine appointments at CVS pharmacies between March 3 and March 10, the company said.

Separately, the pharmacy giant said its vaccine rollout at long-term care facilities has been a “success.”

Its pharmacy teams completed providing second doses at all nursing facilities and that the third and final visits are 90% complete, CVS said. Additionally, the second vaccine doses at assisted living and other facilities are 91% complete, it said.

The company administered around 4.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , to facilitate on-site vaccinations for staff and residents at over 65,000 enrolled long-term care facilities.

On Wednesday, Target began providing vaccine doses in over 600 CVS pharmacies located inside its store locations.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The CDC is reportedly eyeing a ‘promising’ partnership with Dollar General to bring vaccines to rural communities, and Target is expanding access to shots with in-store CVS clinics

dollar general
dollar general

  • The CDC is eyeing a potential partnership with Dollar General, USA Today reported.
  • Dollar General has locations within 10-15 miles of rural communities in 46 states, the CDC said.
  • Target is now offering vaccine doses through over 600 in-store CVS pharmacies in 17 states.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In the latest efforts to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly looking a partnership with Dollar General to bring vaccines to rural communities, while Target and CVS are working together to expand the rollout in 17 states.

Target began providing vaccine doses on Wednesday in over 600 CVS pharmacies located inside its store locations, the company said in an emailed statement to Insider. Eligible people can find an appointment through CVS’s website.

Shots are available at store locations in Virginia, New York, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania, the retailer said in the statement.

Target added that, “as states open up vaccines for frontline and essential workers, we’ll work with CVS and others to offer vaccines to team members within our stores and distribution centers in the future.”

Separately, the CDC is looking into working with Dollar General to expand vaccine outreach to Americans in rural areas, USA Today reported on Tuesday.

“We’re exploring a promising collaboration with Dollar General stores, which have locations that include refrigeration capacity within 10 or 15 miles of our rural communities in all but four states,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday at Health Action Alliance’s National Business Summit, according to USA Today. Dollar General has over 17,000 stores in 46 states.

Dollar General did not immediate respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Dollar General was the first retailer to announce plans to pay workers to get vaccinated. In January, the discount store said it will offer all 157,000 employees four hours worth of pay if they get the vaccine.

In February, the White House announced that over 40,000 pharmacies nationwide are set to receive vaccine doses to give to eligible people for free per the rollout of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination.

Last month, select CVS Pharmacy locations began offering around 570,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in 17 states as part of the program. CVS administered over three million vaccines and 15 million COVID-19 tests nationwide by mid-February.

The pharmacy chains and retailers partnering with the government in vaccine distribution include Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, Costco, Albertsons, Hy-Vee, Meijer, and Winn-Dixie.

To date, 95.7 million vaccine doses have been provided to people in the US, according to Bloomberg’s COVID-19 tracker. An average of 2.17 million doses per day were administered this week, according to Bloomberg data.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Retail advertising’s growing pains

Hi and welcome to this weekly edition of Insider Advertising, where we track the big stories in media and advertising.

Remember you can sign up to get this newsletter daily here

This week: 

CVS pharmacy

Retail advertising’s slog

It seems like every day there’s another retailer that’s trying to turn its site into an advertising platform.

Ulta Beauty, CVS and Walgreens, to name a few, have accelerated their ad businesses to capitalize on online shopping growth in the pandemic and offset shrinking retail margins.

This is welcome news to advertisers, which are eager for advertising alternatives to Amazon.

But as ad execs told Lauren Johnson, these retailers have their work cut out for them.

As they see it, retailers face stiff competition for big brands’ advertising, don’t share enough shopper data, and are inefficient to buy.

“There is a big opportunity, but most these platforms are still pretty nascent in media capability,” Jessica Richards, EVP of Havas Media Group, told Lauren. “Our prediction is this will be a big growth area in 2021 and the sophistication of targeting, sales tracking and more access to inventory via expanded sources will come soon.”

Read more: Big retailers like Walmart and CVS are trying to cash in on the soaring e-commerce ad business, but many advertisers aren’t sold

Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Google backed out Project Maven, a controversial AI project with the Pentagon, but has continued working with the agency.

Google’s ‘sweetheart deals’

Revenue-share agreements and other incentive programs have long been a contentious issue in the advertising sector. High-profile marketers have called for their agencies to provide more transparency in their contracts in recent years.

Now some rev-share agreements that Google has with a select number of adtech companies are getting new attention as smaller adtech firms struggle in the down economy and as Google faces accusations of anticompetitive behavior.

One such smaller adtech operator, Liam Patterson of Bidnamic, called these little-known RSA agreements “a kick in the teeth” for smaller adtech companies struggling to survive.

Martin Coulter and Lara O’Reilly revealed details of some of these deals, which include Google paying Marin Software more than $12 million in 2019.

Read more: Google has signed a number of little-known revenue share agreements with ad companies – but some smaller firms describe them as unfair ‘sweetheart deals’ 

Nighttime view of the New York Times Building
Nighttime view of the New York Times Building

Times a-changing

ICYMI, Steven Perlberg had a great profile on Carolyn Ryan at The New York Times, who’s seen as a contender to be its next top editor.

Ryan checks a lot of the traditional journalistic boxes one might expect of the executive editor at the Times – but also stands out as the executive supervising its most fraught topic: newsroom culture.

Her rise also reflects how newsrooms’ priorities have changed. Earlier in the shift from print to digital, a lot of their focus was on expanding their subscriptions, product expertise and storytelling abilities.

Now, with a broader social reckoning going on, diversifying their staffs and coverage has taken center stage. At the Times, that’s also meant dealing with tension and controversy that’s erupted in part as a result of expectations by its newer, more diverse staff about how much they should change the newsroom, and vice versa.

“After Dean, Carolyn has the hardest management job in the newsroom right now. Her portfolio is at the center of all the questions that are roiling the newsroom,” Nicholas Confessore, a Times reporter who has worked under Ryan, told Perlberg.

Read the full story: Carolyn Ryan is the most powerful woman in The New York Times newsroom – and she could become its next top editor 

More stories we’re reading:

That’s it for me this week. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

– Lucia

Read the original article on Business Insider

CEOs like Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella are among the most overpaid CEOs, according to a new report

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O 2016 developers conference in Mountain View, California
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a developers conference.

  • As You Sow has released its seventh annual report detailing the 100 most overpaid CEOs.
  • The top 30 CEOs on the list includes Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.
  • Nine companies have made the list every year, including Walt Disney, Goldman Sachs, and IBM.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

CEOs like Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella are among the top 100 most overpaid CEOs, according to a new report from As You Sow.

It’s no secret that CEOs of S&P 500 companies make good money. However, As You Sow’s list doesn’t rank by the size of a CEO’s salary. Instead, the corporate responsibility non-profit uses different metrics to identify whether or not a CEO is being overpaid.

To do this, the study took three main factors into account: the amount of extra dollars a CEO receives based on past company performance and pay, the number of shareholders who voted against a CEO’s pay package, and the ratio comparing the executive’s compensation to the company’s median employee pay. The latter was weighed less heavily.

Coincidentally, the highest salary on the list happens to belong to the most overpaid CEO: Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, who receives a pay of $280,621,552, according to the report. To compare, the median pay of Alphabet workers sits at $258,708, which is a CEO to worker pay ratio of 1,085 to one.

Pichai is being paid an excess of $266,698,263, according to As You Sow.

Another tech giant, Microsoft, also made the list in 24th place. Satya Nadella, the head of Microsoft, earns $42,910,215. According to the study, Nadella is being paid an excess of $27,896,691.

The median pay of Microsoft’s employees is $172,512, which is a CEO to worker pay ratio of 249 to one.

Several social media companies are seen as giants in Silicon Valley, but only one was included in the report: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, in 73rd place. Zuckerberg has a pay of $23,415,973, which, according to the study, contains an excess of $9,479,977.

To compare, the median employee pay at Facebook is $247,883. This amounts to a CEO to worker pay ratio of 94 to one, lower than both Microsoft and Alphabet’s.

However, the list wasn’t just dominated by tech leaders. Bob Iger, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Lachlan Murdoch of Fox Corporation, and Miguel Patricio of the Kraft Heinz Company were all listed among the top 30 most overpaid CEOs.

And according to the study, companies that have consistently graced the list are performing worse than those that have never been mentioned. As You Sow has published this report annually since 2015, and nine CEOs have made the list every year, amounting to a total pay of $2 billion. However, these nine businesses have seen a lower annualized shareholder return compared to S&P 500 companies that have never made the overpaid CEO list.

These nine companies include: Discovery, Walt Disney, Comcast, AT&T, Goldman Sachs, IBM, McKesson, Ralph Lauren, and Regeneron.

This consistent overpaying of CEOs can signal several concerns, specifically “poor accountability, weak governance, and lack of concern for shareholder interests,” the study notes.

However, this overcompensation issue may soon be changing as more shareholders are beginning to vote against these hefty CEO paychecks, according to Rosanna Landis Weaver, the report’s author.

“We might be going into a spring where we see higher votes against pay, particularly at companies that try to insulate their executive compensation from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Weaver told Insider.

These were the top 30 most overpaid CEOs, according to As You Sow’s new report:

30. Norwegian Cruise Line – Frank Del Rio

Pay: $17,808,364

Excess: $6,617,002

Median worker pay: $16,925

29. Walgreens Boots Alliance – Stefano Pessina

Pay: $19,156,202

Excess: $7,266,357

Median worker pay: $34,074

28. HCA Healthcare – Samuel Hazen

Pay: $26,788,251

Excess: $14,094,249

Median worker pay: $56,012

27. Netflix – Reed Hastings

Pay: $38,577,129

Excess: $23,649,474

Median worker pay: $202,931

26. AT&T – Randall Stephenson

Pay: $32,032,925

Excess: $19,313,311

Median worker pay: $98,630

25. McKesson – John Hammergren

Pay: $17,400,207

Excess: $5,240,500

Median worker pay: $38,026

24. Microsoft – Satya Nadella

Pay: $42,910,215

Excess: $27,896,691

Median worker pay: $172,512

23. Linde – Stephen Angel

Pay: $66,149,325

Excess: $52,644,326

Median worker pay: $40,601

22. Coty – Pierre Laubies 

Laubies was replaced halfway through 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pay: $16,211,992

Excess: $5,574,670

Median worker pay: $43,242

21. Mylan – Heather Bresch

Pay: $18,509,260

Excess: $7,524,895

Median worker pay: $43,367

20. Qualcomm – Steven Mollenkopf

Pay: $23,065,052

Excess: $9,744,629

Median worker pay: $90,259

19. Marathon Petroleum – Gary Heminger 

Heminger retired from the company in April 2020.

Pay: $24,129,164

Excess: $11,768,410

Median worker pay: $27,507

18. General Electric – H. Lawrence Culp Jr.

Pay: $24,553,788

Excess: $13,339,908

Median worker pay: $50,471

17. Centene – Michael Neidorff

Pay: $26,438,425

Excess: $13,257,871

Median worker pay: $68,987

16. Activision Blizzard – Robert Kotick

Pay: $30,122,896

Excess: $15,867,848

Median worker pay: $94,308

15. Fiserv – Jeffrey Yabuki

Yabuki stepped as CEO mid-2020, Marketwatch reported.

Pay: $27,601,026

Excess: $13,842,124

Median worker pay: $65,254

14. Comcast – Brian Roberts

Pay: $36,370,183

Excess: $23,330,783

Median worker pay: $78,869

13. Fidelity National Information Services – Gary Norcross

Pay: $27,658,117

Excess: $13,926,647

Median worker pay: $59,235

12. T-Mobile – John Legere

Legere stepped down as T-Mobile’s CEO at the end of April 2020.

Pay: $27,756,690

Excess: $13,798,277

Median worker pay: $62,195

11. Advanced Micro Devices – Lisa Su

Pay: $58,534,288

Excess: $40,542,122

Median worker pay: $96,874

10. Fox Corporation – Lachlan Murdoch

Pay: $42,111,103

Excess: $28,735,479

Median worker pay: not provided

9. Las Vegas Sands Corporation – Sheldon Gary Adelson

Adelson died this year and was replaced by Robert Goldstein as CEO.

Pay: $24,680,118

Excess: $11,976,674

Median worker pay: $42,228

8. Universal Health Services – Alan Miller

Pay: $24,473,240

Excess: $12,397,998

Median worker pay: $38,931

7. Intel – Robert Swan

Swan was replaced by Pat Gelsinger as CEO of Intel this month.

Pay: $66,935,100

Excess: $53,244,455

Median worker pay: $96,300

6. The Kraft Heinz Company – Miguel Patricio

Pay: $43,297,480

Excess: $31,390,609

Median worker pay: $42,689

5. The Walt Disney Company – Bob Iger

Iger stepped down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in February 2020.

Pay: $47,517,762

Excess: $34,885,856

Median worker pay: $52,184

4. Howmet Aerospace – John Plant

Pay: $51,712,578

Excess: $39,321,473

Median worker pay: $55,497

3. CVS Health – Larry Merlo

Merlo retired from his CEO post this month.

Pay: $36,451,749

Excess: $24,311,079

Median worker pay: $46,140

2. Discovery – David Zaslav

Pay: $45,843,912

Excess: $33,823,935

Median worker pay: $79,343

1. Alphabet – Sundar Pichai

Pay: $280,621,552

Excess: $266,698,263

Median worker pay: $258,708

Read the original article on Business Insider

CVS locations in these 17 states will get more vaccines this week

CVS pharmacy
  • CVS stores in Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Ohio will now have vaccines available.
  • Around 570,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses will be distributed to CVS pharmacy locations.
  • Vaccine appointments for these doses will begin starting February 25.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Select CVS Pharmacy locations will offer around 570,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in 17 states including the newly added states of Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Ohio, CVS Health said on Wednesday in a press release

Eligible people can book appointments starting February 24 for these doses with shots beginning February 25, the company said. The doses will be provided through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a plan meant to increase access to the vaccine in which over 40,000 US pharmacies are set to receive vaccine doses to offer eligible people at no cost starting February 11. 

CVS has been offering vaccines on a limited basis in Ohio as it relied on state allocations, but now that the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is activated in the state, the number of stores will increase as supply grows, a company spokesperson told Insider.

CVS Health’s in-store vaccine rollout initially began on February 12 in 11 states including California, Hawaii, Texas, South Carolina, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia. CVS Pharmacy is able to administer from 20 million to 25 million shots per month, according to the press release.

The locations were selected based on a number of factors including the High SVI rank determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index, population density, and demographics, according to CVS.

“Feedback on every aspect of the vaccination process has been incredibly positive, from the digital experience to interacting with our team of health care professionals,” said Karen S. Lynch, President, and CEO at CVS Health said in the press release. “We’re also making significant progress in reaching vulnerable communities, which will continue to be an essential part of our vaccination effort.”

The pharmaceutical company added it will expand in additional states as more supply becomes available. The spokesperson declined to share future expansion plans with Insider at the moment.

Last week, the drugstore chain said that it administered over three million COVID-19 vaccines and around 15 million COVID-19 tests nationwide.

Separately, Walgreens is set to receive a weekly allocation of over 480,000 vaccine doses starting February 25, the company announced last week. It also said that it provided over three million vaccinations across long-term facilities and vulnerable communities that are prioritized by the state.  

As part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Walgreens began in-store vaccinations in 17 states and administered about 180,000 doses of the first weekly vaccine allocation, the company said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Masks will be needed until at least 2022 ‘for the safety of the nation,’ says CVS chief

fauci mask
Dr. Anthony Fauci wearing face masks.

  • CVS Chief Executive Officer Karen Lynch says masks may be need until at least next year.
  • Lynch says US is on its way to meeting goal of vaccinating 300 million Americans by end of summer.
  • Fauci said Americans may still be wearing masks next year, depending on vaccination and case levels.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Face masks will likely to be the norm until at least 2022, CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch said during DealBook DC Policy Project conference Tuesday.

Lynch said she hopes masks aren’t a household item forever, but added that they’ll likely be needed until at least next year to protect the country against the continued COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For the health and safety of the nation, I think it’s important for us to really think about wearing masks until this is behind us,” said Lynch, who began her role as CEO earlier this month. She added that getting everyone vaccinated and further studies on whether those vaccinated can still carry and spread the virus are important to lifting mask rules. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said last week it’s possible Americans may still need to wear masks next year, depending on whether a majority of the country is vaccinated and whether COVID-19 cases are at “very low” levels. In the early days of his administration, Biden ramped up his vaccination ambitions and purchased enough vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer. 

CVS is one of the retail partners that has worked with the federal government in getting shots in the arms of elderly Americans at long-term care facilities and now in vaccinating the general population. In the Tuesday interview, Lynch said, “We are well on our way to accomplishing what the president has asked, to get 300 million Americans done…  And I’m hopeful that we will get there.”

So far, 13% of the population, or 44 million people, have received at least one shot of the two-dose vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, less than a year after the pandemic took hold in the US, the country passed 500,000 deaths related to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached their lowest level since November, with some giving credit to the vaccine rollout. Still, experts have recommended continued facemask use and social-distancing measures to keep the the number of hospitalizations declining.

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Insider Retail: Logistics startups look to micro-warehouses and the vaccine rollout hits retail stores

CVS list: diapers, hand sanitizer, COVID-19 vaccine.

Big “ICYMI” energy in the newsletter today. Look, we get it. There was some other big news this week. But Insider’s retail team always has you covered when it comes to the biggest retail business stories.

This week’s edition covers retailers, like CVS, Kroger, and Walgreens, rolling out vaccines. And we take a look at a startup that’s turning vacant retail stores into micro-warehouses for e-commerce orders. 

If you haven’t already subscribed to Insider Retail, click here to get me, Gloria Dawson, senior editor of retail, and our associate editor, Danni Santana, in your inbox every week.

How Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, and other retailers plan to leverage tech, convenience, and public trust to get the chaotic mass vaccine rollout back on track

Coronavirus vaccine
Pharmacies are finding themselves with leftover coronavirus vaccines, meaning some people can score a shot early with the right planning.

It’s no secret that the vaccine rollout has been less-than-smooth. Could retailers help get things back on track? Well, they certainly hope so. It’s not the craziest idea. As Alvin Tran, a social epidemiologist at the University of New Haven told our reporters, these brands lend name recognition, trust, and their own technology to the process. 

Drug stores also aren’t the only retailers who want a piece of the vaccine story:

Logistics startup Fabric has raised $136 million to build shipping warehouses in unused real estate like retail stores and gyms

Fabric MFC

Here’s a trend for you all: Retail stores close as consumers flock to e-commerce during the pandemic. Logistics startups then use vacant retail space as micro-warehouses to fulfill e-commerce orders. Our Correspondent Madeline Stone wrote about Fabric, a big player in this particular retail life cycle story.

Fascinated by the micro-warehousing trend? You’ve come to the right newsletter.

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Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s will drop My Pillow products from stores after its CEO spread election conspiracy theories

mike lindell donald trump
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Mike Lindell (L), founder of My Pillow, during an event at the White House July 19, 2017.

Bed Bath & Beyond has cut ties with My Pillow, the pillow manufacturing company founded by Trump supporter Mike Lindell, the retailer confirmed to Insider.

Lindell first reported the retailer axing his products, telling a Fox News affiliate and right-wing media outlet RSBN about stores dropping the brand. In the interviews, Lindell attributed the retailer’s decision to social media pressure led by “leftist groups.”

“They’re trying to cancel companies now,” he told RSBN. 

Bed Bath & Beyond said it’s getting rid of the pillow brand because it’s not selling well.

“As previously announced, we have been rationalizing our assortment to discontinue a number of underperforming items and brands. This includes the My Pillow product line,” a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson told Insider in an email. “Our decisions are data-driven, customer-inspired, and are delivering substantial growth in our key destination categories.”

Bed Bath & Beyond was one of the largest national retailers stocking My Pillow products.

Read more: The judge who presided over JCPenney’s and Neiman Marcus’ bankruptcies predicts more trouble for retail in 2021. Here’s who he thinks is most vulnerable.

On RSBN, Lindell claimed that other retailers were also dropping the brand, including H-E-B and Kohl’s. H-E-B did not respond to a request for comment.

Kohl’s said in a statement to CNBC in a statement that it will sell through its current inventory and not order additional product due to “decreased customer demand.”

My Pillow did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Lindell has been a vocal proponent of the baseless claim that voting machines switched votes to secure President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, a theory that he may have taken to the president in person on Friday

Voting technology company Dominion – whose machines are central to the conspiracy theory Lindell has been spreading – threatened “imminent” legal action on January 8, calling the claims “false and conspiratorial.”

Read more: A top Aerie marketing exec reveals how the brand leveraged a viral TikTok video to sellout leggings and drive record traffic to its e-commerce site

That legal threat came two days after protesters were encouraged by Trump to march on the Capitol, in events that spiralled into a deadly riot. Lindell has continued to support the president following these events, offering a MyPillow discount code “FightForTrump” for customers ordering directly.

bed bath & beyond

If you have worked at My Pillow or with Mike Lindell, and have a story to share, email

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