Kroger Pharmacy Review
Although Kroger's prices exceed mass merchants', they include $4 generics and are generally cheaper than consumers will find at stand-alone drugstores. Consumers who frequent Kroger can get prescriptions filled while they grocery shop and rack up fuel points at the same time.
Kroger Co. is the only grocery chain in our comparison and has about 2,100 stores with pharmacies, according to the trade publication Drugstore News. That's more than any other U.S. supermarket. Along with the big-box stores, Walmart and Target, it generally undercuts stand-alone pharmacies on price, with deals such as $4 generic drugs.
For many shoppers, the Kroger fuel program provides incentive to fill prescriptions at the supermarket. Whereas customers earn one fuel point for every $1 spent on groceries, they rack up 50 points for every non-federally funded prescription. (Discounts start at 100 points, which translates to 10 cents off per gallon on a tank of gas.) Given that grocery shopping is often a weekly (sometimes daily) occurrence, consumers who patronize this supermarket find it convenient to shop for groceries while waiting for their prescriptions to be filled.
The Kroger pharmacy department where we shopped was smaller than the Walmart and Target pharmacies in the same central-Ohio market area. As in the big-box stores, the selection was not ample, but we were able to find all eight items on our shopping list. We also had the option of cheaper store-brand versions of most items, but not all. The store was clean and welcoming, with access to plenty of assistance. There were more employees within earshot at Kroger than at any other store we visited. In addition to offering more grocery items than the other retailers in our comparison, many Kroger locations include a variety of services. The store we visited had walk-up and drive-thru pharmacy windows, a bank, a Redbox movie-rental machine, and a Starbucks. About 140 Kroger Co. supermarkets in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia provide basic healthcare through The Little Clinic, which Kroger acquired in 2010.
Kroger's pharmacy is a logical choice for many consumers who already make frequent visits to the store. The fuel perks compound the appeal of relatively low prices for budget-conscious shoppers.