Walgreens Tapping 5G to Future-Proof Stores

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Verizon Business and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) have entered a multi-year strategic partnership, which will include a rolling deployment of 5G in stores.

Verizon will deploy their Network as a Service (NaaS) solution that will deliver an enhanced customer experience to more than 9,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade retail stores across the U.S. The foundation of the partnership is underpinned by Verizon’s assets, including 5G, LTE and Verizon Media, which will enable Verizon to continuously offer the latest in technological and business process innovation.

“WBA’s digital transformation is focused on modernizing and digitizing our company to provide customers with seamless and personalized shopping experiences, whether in-store, online or in the palm of their hand,” said Mike Maresca, global chief technology officer, WBA. “We continue to enhance our business systems and processes both internally and with industry-leading partners to meet the changing needs of Walgreens customers and boost productivity across our workforce. Verizon’s 20 years of experience in this space will help transform our network in the US and also serve as a foundation for our future digital innovations.”

Verizon Business’s NaaS is an on-demand solution utilizing the latest connectivity, network and security technologies. The offering takes multiple technologies, and delivers a single solution to the customer to enable their digital transformation. As technology evolves, customers like Walgreens will have the newest technology almost instantly.

“This is the largest, fully customized, Network as a Service solution for a partner on this scale,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business. “Working closely with Walgreens to understand their focus areas, we’ve tailored an offering that will meet their technology needs of today, and quickly scale to offer a rolling deployment of 5G in Walgreens locations, next-gen in-store experiences for customers and employees, and future-proofed backend operations to enhance efficiencies.”

Retailers that invest in 5G now will be ahead of the curve as 5G adoption increases. According to Verizon, augmented and virtual reality experiences built on Verizon's 5G network will be able to deliver lifestyle management solutions in areas such as nutrition and wellness via customers’ delivery method of choice, either remotely with digital devices and digital applications or with an in-store expert enhanced with smart wearables in the future.