Companies to pilot drone deliveries in Christiansburg, VA, beginning in October
information provided by Walgreens
DEERFIELD, Ill. (September 22, 2019) – Walgreens and Wing, a member of the Alphabet family of companies, are partnering on an industry first that will offer “store to door” delivery of health and wellness, food and beverage, and convenience items via state-of-the-art drone technology.
Walgreens, with a heritage of innovation in pharmacy and retail, and Wing Aviation LLC, the first drone operator certified as an air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year, will begin offering drone delivery service to eligible residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, beginning next month. The companies will utilize the pilot program to further explore the future of health and wellness product and retail delivery through the air, offering product availability and home delivery minutes after placing orders via the Wing app.
Christiansburg was selected as the test market as Wing has been working closely with nearby Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to test drone delivery as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Integration Pilot Program since 2016. Although currently a pilot in one market, Walgreens is in a unique position to capitalize on the convenience of drone delivery if and when it should expand, with approximately 78 percent of the U.S. population living within five miles of a Walgreens-owned store.
How It Works
Eligible customers in the Christiansburg area will have access to more than 100 products and six convenient “packs” via the Wing app that include many of Walgreens most sought-after products in store. Customers can either choose the individual products they need or, for simplicity’s sake, choose one of the pre-built packs in the following categories: allergy, baby, cough/cold, first aid, pain, and kids’ snacks. Prescription deliveries are not available via this service. The drone delivery option meets use cases where customers may want health and wellness or food and beverage items immediately, but leaving home is not ideal. For example:
- Parents at home with a sick child can order the “baby pack” with items such as children’s ibuprofen, water and more to nurse their little one back to health while never having to leave their side.
- Those with a common cold or flu can avoid spreading germs to others by ordering the “cough/cold pack” with a variety of cough and cold products needed to get healthy.
What customers can expect
Over the coming weeks, Wing and Walgreens will be reaching out to Christiansburg residents to provide additional information about the new offering. The companies will also be hosting a drone delivery demonstration for community members later this month. Area residents interested in registering or learning more about the pilot program can visit wing.com/Virginia.