Amazon weighing entry into physical pharmacy stores

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

(Reuters) – Inc (NASDAQ:) is considering the launch of physical pharmacies in the United States, Insider reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The talks are mostly exploratory and any meaningful rollout of stores could take more than a year, according to the report. (https://

There have been discussions about putting the pharmacies inside of Amazon-owned Whole Foods locations, Insider reported.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The e-commerce giant launched an online pharmacy in November for delivering prescription medications in the United States, stirring up competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart (NYSE:).

The move was built on its 2018 acquisition of PillPack, which Amazon said would remain separate and cater to customers who need pre-sorted doses of multiple drugs.

The company’s potential move into the physical pharmacy space will pit it against established players, including Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:) Inc, CVS Health Corp (NYSE:), Walmart Inc, Rite Aid (NYSE:) Corp and Kroger (NYSE:) Co.

Shares of Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid were all down between 3% and 5% on Wednesday.

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