BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here is making its move into 24-hour pharmacies.
The company launched the initiative in five stores last week, expanding pharmacy services to 24 hours in four Neighborhood Markets in Texas and Arkansas, and one Texas Supercenter.
While spokesman Gus Whitcomb said that Wal-Mart does not consider this a "test," it is in a developmental phase.
"We're going to concentrate on these five pharmacies and work to perfect our model," said Ron Chomiuk, Wal-Mart's vice president, pharmacy operations, in a statement.
"[The hour extension] is really an opportunity to take five different stores and see how this works," Whitcomb said. This is not the first time Wal-Mart has tried 24-hour pharmacies. However, these are the only ones it operates now, he said.
Major drug chains like Walgreens and CVS, and supermarkets including Kroger, Stop & Shop and Wegmans, run 24-hour pharmacies in select locations, according to company Web sites.
Wal-Mart's move to 24-hour pharmacy services will be supported by billboards, store signage and fliers at nearby Supercenters to increase customer awareness, Whitcomb said.
"The request for 24-hour pharmacies has become a bigger and bigger request from customers and we wanted to meet that need," he said.