As the world grapples with the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, Amazon is allegedly in talks to offer an at home testing kit to individuals in Seattle. If plans go ahead, the company would utilize its recently-rolled out Amazon Care clinic system to deploy these testing kits, but would expand beyond Amazon Care’s current user base of Amazon employees and their dependents.
The unfolding epidemic will put strain on the healthcare system in the US (along with many other markets), given that on top of capacity limits the US is facing an additional challenge of underinsured citizens. Retail has looked to build out capabilities to serve this need in recent years, with Walmart launching large scale health clinics last year. As this crisis continues, we expect to see more examples of retailers looking to supplement the healthcare system. CVS has started offering free prescription delivery during the outbreak.
For manufacturers, we are seeing intense sales volume in key categories relating to health and cleaning. The expectation is that ecommerce sales will generally accelerate, as shoppers tend to isolate themselves and shop from home. Brands have an opportunity to continue to build brand trust during this crisis, and an ability to stay in stock will result in outsize market share gains that outlast the current environment.
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