Morgan Diaz, senior director, health services division at CVS Health

CVS Pharmacy has entered a new arena by adding audio and optical services to its in-store offerings.

The retailer has opened seven hearing and five optical centers in its drug stores in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area, with plans to expand to 50 locations by the end of 2017, Morgan Diaz, senior director, health services division at CVS Health, told Chain Store Age’s sister publication, Drug Store News. The centers are housed adjacent to pharmacies.

“It allows us to have a nice health quadrant in the back of the store,” Diaz said.

As for the reasoning behind audio centers, Diaz pointed out that 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, with 30 million of these people under the age of 65. However, only 20% do something to alleviate the problem.

“We really wanted to ask those people how can we help and how can we differentiate in the space,” she said. “We…