Why One of the Biggest Pharmacy Chains Switched to Foko Retail [Case Study]

In 2019, one of the top five retail pharmacy chains in the U.S. came to us looking to replace their retail communication software. A few months later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Here’s how we got 38,000+ of their employees onboarded and transformed their operations—during one of the most challenging and unexpected sagas in retail history.

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The Challenge

With millions of customers entering their doors every day, this pharmacy retailer—a household name in the U.S.—is considered an essential provider of medication and budget-friendly goods, such as snacks, greeting cards, and health products. It currently fulfills over a billion prescriptions annually and has one of the largest store and employee counts of any retailer.

But behind closed doors, it was a struggle to push out announcements, tasks, and updates to the frontline. 

Headquarters had a hard time connecting with store managers, field reps, and pharmacy teams and limited visibility into what was getting done in-store. 

Staff consistently complained about their software’s clunky interface and slow load times at the store level and were using unapproved solutions—such as GroupMe, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and video sharing apps—to bypass the provided solution. 

Employee engagement and productivity were suffering.

HQ realized it was ready for a change; it was perfect timing.


Looking to consolidate its tools and simplify its communication process, the pharmacy retailer began using Foko Retail in early 2020 as its primary tool for communicating with teams—right as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.

Seemingly overnight, retailers had to rethink their internal communication and operations strategies. 

Here’s how the pharmacy retailer stayed on top of things while transitioning to Foko Retail and the benefits it experienced as a result.


Quick Onboarding and Internal Adoption

Looking to align their teams, the company decided to roll out Foko Retail to 20,000 users in a single week. It was able to accomplish this thanks to Foko Retail’s easy onboarding process and company-specific training materials, designed to get employees up to speed fast with minimal guidance from HQ.

“On the first day, over a thousand users logged into Foko Retail, simply because they wanted to see how it worked, and were amazed how easy and effective it was,” says one of their heads of Retail Operations. “This is the least criticized tech implementation we’ve ever had, and our team just loves it.”


Record Levels of Employee Engagement

The initial reception was so strong that 18,000 additional pharmacy colleagues—previously the least engaged part of their workforce when it came to regular communication—were added to the platform. 

Since then, store and pharmacy teams are more engaged and consistently accessing the platform throughout the day for important need-to-know information—a necessity as procedures and lockdown measures continue to disrupt business and force teams to adapt during this difficult time.

This is the least criticized tech implementation we’ve ever had.”

Head of Pharmacy Operations

Seamless Integration with Existing Workflows

Change management can make or break any user experience or software implementation.

To keep things consistent and avoid confusion, the company decided to rebrand Foko Retail internally, allowing the software to integrate seamlessly with their existing suite of tools.

Because Foko Retail is available on iOS, Android, Web, and other smart devices, and completely modular, the growing retailer has been able to add additional features and user counts as more team members get added and store operations evolve.

“Users don’t even see this as a piece of third-party software,” says one of their heads of Pharmacy Operations. “They just think we’ve made some major improvements.”