Egremont Group with Walgreens

Bringing innovation to life through a new customer operating model 

Walgreens needed to change its position in the retail and pharmacy marketplaceThey knew that they needed to make their stores more profitable, more competitive and more focused on their core customerIn short, they needed to create a new operating model with the customer at its core. This wasn’t easy to achieve in a behemoth business, with a tendency to operate in silos with multiple initiatives in train. The approach would need to be bold, bringing together key stakeholders to strip the operating model back to its basics in order to build it up again.  

We helped Walgreens to create new customer propositions, store merchandising concepts and to link the digital to the in-store experience. This was achieved by connecting different levels of the organization from the COO to team members on the frontline to discuss, build and test different ways of working. It was “Agile on steroids” that asked people to be courageous and work out of their comfort zones. It demanded of people that they looked through new eyes at old problems, sometimes literally through the aid of VR technology.  

This wasn’t about having clever ideas in head office and asking store teams to uncritically adopt them. This was a true collaboration between functions, hierarchies and locations. The secret sauce of delivery was in the store teams. How we engaged and involved them to trial and deliver the concepts and ideas was critical. We didn’t tell them what to do, we asked them how it would work for them. 

The result was a shift from a task focused operating model to a customer centric model resulting in improved team engagement and customer acquisition rates, which, in turn, improved sales and profits. Broader than that though, we helped Walgreens find a way in which a behemoth can behave like a start-up and rapidly test and launch new ideas. 

We are very proud to have entered this award with our client and would like them to have the last word here: 

Working with Egremont was a great experience – they really helped us drive fast, deep, sustainable change while bringing our teams along with us on that journey. The support they provided helped us on many levels from political, to governance, right through to the execution of our plans in store. They helped us make fast, yet thoughtful and clear decisions based on insight…Then supported us bringing them to life in the work. Importantly, their team became an integral part of the work with tremendous collaboration and partnership throughout. I’ve never experienced a consulting partnership with such skilled, genuine collaboration and support while delivering such a breakthrough change and results 

Kenya Jackson, VP Customer Operating Model Development, Walgreens 

View the Egremont Group profile in the MCA Members Directory.