CVS and Curbside slow rollout due to high demand

Image: Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

CVS and Curbside were set to roll the service out to 4,000 locations this week, but that goal has been tempered a bit, thanks to higher than expected demand.

The companies had soft-launched the program – available to shoppers through the Curbside and CVS app labeled as CVS Express – prior to the launch. But once it was turned on at all 4,000 stores in 35 markets, the demand overwhelmed at select stores.

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"We saw a lot of demand across the country this week. The rate of uptick was extremely high in the Washington, D.C. and Houston metros," Curbside CEO Jaron Waldman told FierceRetail.

"We had really big demand, right out of the gate," he said. "The system was working well, it never crashed, but the order volume was many times higher than we anticipated."

Instead of proceeding with the publicized rollout, "we called an audible and decided to go one market at time," said Waldman.

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When shoppers select the Curbside option when ordering through a mobile app, that order is sent to a store employee who picks, packs and delivers the order to the customer's car. Curbside has created the software, which works on an iPad, but the store provides the labor.  

Waldman expects all 4,000 locations to be online taking orders by the end of next week.