- Giant Eagle has joined payment technology company InComm’s OTC Network, according to a press release. The network provides supplemental benefits and incentive spending to promote a healthy lifestyle.
- The new partnership will allow more than 5 million OTC Network cardholders to use their benefits at any Giant Eagle store, which includes over 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Indiana.
- The OTC Network gives shoppers the ability to use employer or health-plan sponsored incentive funds to purchase items in specific categories and receive discounts on some products that promote well-being.
InComm's OTC Network offers a Supplemental Benefit card and an Incentive & Rewards card, both of which can be used to purchase eligible over-the-counter (OTC) items at Giant Eagle stores. OTC cards are used throughout the healthcare industry and are typically pre-paid debit cards replenished monthly.
According to InComm’s website, its Supplemental Benefit card provides Medicare advantage members with benefits like home delivery and spending on products including vitamins, diabetes care and medication. Its Incentive & Rewards card encourages Medicaid customers to make healthy choices with reward and incentive dollars for purchases on health and wellness products.
By joining InComm’s Healthcare OTC Network, Giant Eagle is stepping up its focus on healthy eating and living, a topic that is top-of-mind for many customers these days. It’s also incentivizing shoppers to purchase health and wellness products, often found in its pharmacy section, which could help drive more traffic to the in-store pharmacy.
Many other grocers are focusing on pharmacy benefits because they promote store loyalty. Profit margins for prescriptions have dropped in the last few years, while profit margins for OTC products are still strong, according to Pharmacy Development Services. Retail sales for OTC medicine have been steadily growing since 2011, reaching about $35.2 billion in 2018, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
Giant Eagle’s commitment to health and wellness beyond prescriptions can be seen in recent initiatives such as its Higi telehealth stations, which debuted last month. The retailer also has a long-standing dietitian program that offers counseling, workshops and classes, some of which are free.