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Walgreens announces new drone delivery service pilot program

Christian de La Chapelle

If you ever wanted snacks or medicine delivered to your home via a drone in the sky, you may be in luck.

That's because retail giant Walgreens announced Thursday it is partnering with Wing Aviation LLC, a drone delivery company owned by Alphabet, to make that futuristic concept a reality beginning next month. However, the pilot program will only be available in Christiansburg, Virginia.

“Walgreens continues to explore partnerships to transform and modernize our customer experience and we are proud to be the first retailer in the U.S. to offer an on-demand commercial drone delivery option with Wing,” said Vish Sankaran, chief innovation officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. in a statement.

The reason Christiansburg was chosen for this endeavor was that Wing has been interacting with Virginia Tech University since 2016 as it tests drones via the U.S. Department of Transportation Integration Pilot Program. Christiansburg is nearby Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is located.

According to a press release from Walgreens: "Eligible customers in the Christiansburg area will have access to more than 100 products and six convenient 'packs' via the Wing app that include many of Walgreens most sought-after products in store. Customers can either choose the individual products they need or, for simplicity’s sake, choose one of the pre-built packs in the following categories: allergy, baby, cough/cold, first aid, pain, and kids’ snacks. Prescription deliveries are not available via this service."

The company is targeting the service toward people for whom it is not ideal to leave home. For example, people without cars, parents who can't leave their sick children and those who are sick and don't want to leave the house.

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