Why Is Walgreens So Expensive (The REAL Reason!)

Ever wondered why is Walgreens so expensive? Walgreens – a chain of drugstores and pharmacies in the United States as well as other countries is one of the largest pharmacy chains in the world. The brand provides products ranging from healthcare products to items like snacks and beverages which are considerably expensive. So, what’s so special about Walgreens products? Even though there are so many stores offering similar products.

Quick Summary

Walgreens is quite expensive and that has a lot to do with the range of products that it offers, balance reward programs, promotional discounts, and insurance policies. Moreover, Walgreens believes in competitive pricing and therefore, it needs to take into account the prices of other retail stores in the area.

Why Is It So Expensive to Shop at Walgreens?

Prices seem fairly high to many, yet Walgreens is never out of business. From getting postcards at Walgreens to using the print service that it offers, buyers have a lot of things that they need in the store. So, what is it that keeps people engaged and why won’t they consider the alternatives? Here I have prepared a list, let’s discuss them!

Government Regulations: In the U.S., the federal government does not impose regulations on drug prices nationwide. While government programs such as Medicaid offer cost control, there are no other controls in the private market investments.

Big pharmacies like Walgreens can decide the individual prices of their products. This contributes to the fluctuation in the prices of Walgreens products when compared with other retail stores.

But the hike in prices never stops Walgreens customers to stop shopping from the store for its quality products.

Insurance: Insurance can be another major factor since people who pay right from their pockets without any insurance coverage are more likely to suffer from price hikes at Walgreens. This is a uniform concept in the United States and not just in Walgreens.

If you have no insurance, it’s nearly impossible for an average person to purchase the prescribed drugs.

Here’s how it works; different insurance companies negotiate their reduced prices with stores like Walgreens. Then, to balance out these discounted prices, stores charge higher prices to those without any insurance coverage for their prescribed drugs.

Convenience: Walgreens has a vast network of over 9000+ stores in the U.S. allowing the stores to be easily accessible within a few miles. Nowadays, nobody wants to travel half a kilometer just to buy one simple product. We prefer ease, and that is the strategy Walgreens has used to expand its business.

The stores are available 24/7 and you can visit them whenever you want without having to travel all day long.

Considering this, Walgreens has increased the price of its items making them fairly expensive than the other stores which do not provide such convenience. 

Other Reasons That Make Walgreens Costy

Balance Rewards Program: Most retail chains provide reward programs to their customers for shopping regularly. This is a well-plotted marketing strategy to hook up the customers to keep purchasing from the store and become loyal customers. This practice is common in almost every business such as hotels, food services, etc.

Similarly, Walgreens offers its loyal customers a balance reward program. This is a smart strategy where customers have the desire to earn more points on every purchase. Higher points will give you discount coupons which can be redeemed later.

Walgreens sets the overall high prices of products which encourages customers to enroll in the balance reward program. This approach increases the overall loyal customers, compelling them to buy more products from Walgreens without knowing the hidden strategy. 

Specialist Stores: Specialist stores have the benefit of selling products in bulk and therefore can make an easy profit. These stores only focus on one product like home improvement or electronics.

Walgreens, on the other hand, is not a product specialist store. Since it is a drug store, it has to raise its prices in order to cover the costs. 

Price Changes: Have you noticed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the prices of regular multivitamins increased drastically? Why do you think that happened?

Because of the high demand for certain medications to treat the disease.

This is another tactic that many drug stores use to increase their profit. Walgreens is no different, it increases the prices of drugs that are in high demand, knowing that the customer will pay for it because they need it.

Since Walgreens has a big business network, it offers a high level of convenience and makes sure that drugs in high demand are available, making it easier for customers to purchase them.

Competitor Pricing: Walgreens is always well-aware of its competitor pricing on different items. The contrast in prices depends on the competitor tracking and price matching system. This allows Walgreens to take into account the prices of other retail stores in the area.

The price of a fragrance product may be different in two different states based on geographic location. How does Walgreens determine the price of a product, even though they both are the same?

To remain competitive, Walgreens often tends to match its product price with other competitors, while still offering other customer benefits.

This is a common practice in the retail industry because there are so many options available, and the customer can be easily drawn toward other stores in search of low-priced products and better deals.

So, to keep the consumer happy and keep the business running, price matching is absolutely necessary for retail stores.

Range of Services: Still, trying to understand why is Walgreens so expensive? Well, get this, Walgreens is just not another local store, rather it provides a range of services to lure customers in by providing free and useful services.

Walgreens has been providing free vaccination programs for a very long time. They offer free flu shots and now COVID vaccination along with its boosters is also being offered in many stores.

These free services are available in all the stores and depending on the location there may be more options available.

Apart from providing free vaccination programs, it also has some very convenient offers like free shipping of items, reminder text messages, easy return policy for items. Moreover, Walgreens sells some gift cards as well which is a great way to attract consumers.

Promotional Services: You see hundreds of promotional ads every day. You must have felt that urge to resist clicking on an ad and yet you do it anyway. That’s right, this is a common strategy to attract new customers by giving discounted deals and free trials. This can draw in customers who might not be interested otherwise.

Walgreens frequently offers promotions and discounts on selected items, providing customers with lower prices on everyday essentials. What they really do is, use the common marketing strategy which many of us are unaware of. Companies often increase the price of the item before a big promotion.

Many people unaware of the original price, rush towards purchasing it. Sometimes, the companies draw in customers by tagging the item with 50-70% promotion sales though the item is still sold at the original price.

This tactic increases sales up to multiple folds making a huge profit. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Walgreens has its stores open 24/7 with ease of accessibility in terms of its location. To maintain the inflow of loyal customers, Walgreens keep a check on competitor pricing as well as offers good discounts.
  • It provides free vaccination programs, free item shipping, good return policies, and many other amazing deals; a perfect tactic for attracting a higher number of consumers.
  • Additionally, they have a balance reward program that compels the customers to purchase more items, making them a loyal customer. Therefore, Walgreens has high prices for maintaining the quality of its products and providing all the services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is the main competition of Walgreens?

Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, and, CVS Health are among the top competitors of Walgreens.

Do all Walgreens prices match up?

Prices shown on the website may differ from those in the local store. It’s always advised to check for the prices and select the best deals.

How can I get the best deals and save money at Walgreens?

Walgreens is so expensive but there are several ways that you can use to get the best deals at Walgreens. You can get them by checking the weekly ads, using promo codes, by joining the myWalgreens program to get better deals first, and using manufacturing coupons. 

When is the best day to visit Walgreens?

Walgreens is well-known for offering weekly promotions and discounts on particular items. They usually offer discounts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, the variety and pricing may differ based on stores and their location.