NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Forget the Black Friday ads for TVs and toys: stores are finding a way to lure in customers right now.
The number of flu shots administered each season has risen steadily over the last few years. Last flu season, the CDC estimates 134 million flu vaccines were distributed — more than half of those outside the doctor’s office.
For the 2014-2015 flu season the projection is 151-159 million vaccines to be given.
For pharmacies, which have administered shots for the last five to seven years, those shots can also mean potential customers.
At Walgreens, Albertsons, CVS and Target stores, customers will find incentives to get vaccinated while they shop.
There’s the convenience factor — no appointment necessary, and late hours. The vaccines are also becoming available earlier in the season.
“I think it’s just to meet demand and also the unpredictability of the season,” said Julie Caldwell, RPh, a Walgreens Pharmacist.
Professor Dan Howard specializes in consumer behavior and teaches at the Cox School of Business at SMU.
He says the combination of public health and marketing we see in store campaigns makes sense. He expects this to be a trend in the health industry.
“Come in and get your shot. Oh, by the way, here’s a twenty-five percent off coupon that you can use for anything in the store,” said Dr. Howard of the marketing movement.
With another 20 million flu vaccinations expected to be distributed this year on top of last year’s total, those numbers are also potential customers for retailers.
“It’s a major movement,” said Dr. Howard.
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