Walmart Takes Wellness Back to School

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Walmart Takes Wellness Back to School

By Patrycja Malinowska - 08/13/2018

Walmart staged another "Wellness Day" last month, this time tying the traffic-driving event into back-to-school season.

On July 21, more than 4,600 stores hosted the free in-store event, providing immunizations, health screenings and vision screenings – the last in select locations. Adults also could get blood glucose and blood pressure checks, and one-on-one consultations with a Walmart pharmacist.

The day of the event, bilingual door clings touting the event greeted shoppers. Multiple table displays were positioned near store entrances, flanked by standees and balloons, and topped with counter signs, pamphlets and free product samples.

GlaxoSmithKline stole the spotlight by securing placement for a larger, three-sided counter sign to sit atop the table displays and promote its @OralAdvisor on Facebook Messenger supporting brands Biotene, Sensodyne and Paradontax.

Walmart plugged the event in advance across its social media channels. Various news outlets also picked up the story, touting the more than 2 million free health screenings the retailer has doled out since starting the program several years prior. A June 29 circular feature supported.

A dedicated walmart.com microsite promotes the periodic events, letting visitors find a participating store, watch videos introducing several Walmart pharmacists, and set a reminder for the next event, which is scheduled for Sept. 22. Several sponsoring brands are listed on the page: private label Spring Valley, GSK's Nicorette/NicoDerm CQ and Flonase, and Johnson & Johnson's Zyrtec, Band-Aid and Tylenol. According to a 2016 Talk Business & Politics article, the fee for sponsorship slots at that time was $70,000, making it a cost-prohibitive endeavor for smaller brands.

The event continues to be presented as in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association. Though the promotional focus for the July event was on providing back-to-school immunizations, Walmart was focused on diabetes care during the two additional Wellness Day events it staged earlier this year.

The retailer additionally has expanded its ReliOn diabetic supplies private label to include a Premier BLU blood glucose monitoring system outfitted with Bluetooth technology that connects the device with a compatible mobile application to automatically chart results, as well as a Premier Voice bilingual monitoring system that provides audible testing for blind and low-vision diabetic patients.

Last month, Walmart also named a new health and wellness lead.