If you’ve stopped at Walgreen’s for cold remedies, batteries, or a snack, the cashier rang up your purchase, handed you a receipt, and said, “Be well.”
The drugstore chain rolled out the slogan nationwide last year after testing it in several markets. The first time you hear it, it may strike you as different but not unpleasant. You’ll suspect the guy behind the register is doing a Yoda imitation, but you’ll cut him slack because he seems sincere if nerdy. The tenth or eleventh time a Walgreen’s employee intones, “Be well,” you’ll be certain a cult has taken control of the chain.
Walgreen’s advertisements position the company “At the corner of Happy and Healthy,” and its Balance program rewards members for tracking their exercise, blood-pressure checks, and weigh-ins. “Be well” is in keeping with the chain’s slant on wellness, but does it fit every customer, every day?
What about the people who go to Walgreen’s to pick up prescriptions for acute or chronic conditions? They’re not well, and the chronic-condition sufferers won’t get well.
What about those who buy candy, chips, and cigarettes at Walgreen’s? A live-and-let-live attitude fits those purchases, but does “Be well?” And if Walgreen’s employees must use the motto, why are they selling cigarettes, chips, and candy in the first place?
Are you as nostalgic for “Have a nice day” as I am? Would you prefer to get your change without a personal-development message?