Is CVS a franchise?

CVS Pharmacy Inc. (short for Consumer Value Store), founded in the year 1963, is an American retail company with its headquarters located in Rhode Island. CVS is the largest pharmacy chain in the United States with over 9600 branch locations and in terms of revenue earned, too. The company began with selling medicines and now has expanded its portfolio by including items like beauty products, greeting cards, photo finishing services, and even food products. CVS has been on the list of Fortune 500 companies for a while now and continues to grow through the years.

Is CVS a franchise?

Owing to its rapid growth over the years, and presence in so many states, there is often a misconception that CVS uses a franchise-based model but, as of present, CVS is not a franchise but a business corporation. The primary organization has a number of subsidiaries through which business is conducted by CVS. 

Differences between a corporation and a franchise model

A franchise means the owners usually retain the naming rights and hand over contracts to individuals who are responsible for the daily upkeeping of a particular store. Thus, the overall handling rests with the individual owners though the formula stays the same across all the locations. A few examples of companies that use a franchise-based model are KFC, McDonald’s, Circle-K, etc.

On the other hand, a corporation means that the business is owned by shareholders and a board of directors is responsible for all the decisions taken at the company. A few examples of successful companies that are owned by a corporation include CVS, Walgreens, etc.

Is CVS a franchise?

CVS is actually a corporation with a recognized board of directors that is chaired by the CEO of the company. CVS stocks are traded in the market and are one of the most highly valued stocks in the related field. The corporation has a number of subsidiaries through which specific areas of the business are looked at. A few of the popular subsidiaries include CVS Caremark, Aetna, etc.

Reasons why CVS is not a franchise

While a franchise-based model might also prove to be very beneficial for a company like CVS, the corporation model provides a host of facilities that the other one would not. Let us take a look at these:

  1. The corporation model helps CVS in providing very cheap prices to the consumers
  2. The main shareholders can have a lot more say in any financial or managerial decision taken at the company, that would not be possible in a franchise-based model because the individual owners would have their own say then
  3. The corporation can take decisions on cost-cutting measures that are then, conveyed to the company’s subsidiaries. As such, this model makes the decision-making process much easier


In this article, we have seen that CVS is not a franchise, but uses a corporation-based model instead. CVS is publicly owned and traded on the stock market openly. The company also has a recognized board of directors with Mr. Larry Merlo as the CEO. The model has proved to be a great success for the company and is one of the primary reasons why CVS is the largest pharmacy retail chain in the United States as of today.

Frequently Asked Questions

We took a look at the most asked questions on the internet about CVS and its operations. In this section, a few of the most relevant questions have been compiled along with their appropriate answers. 

Question. Does CVS always own the locations where their stores are situated at?

CVS generally owns much of the locations where their stores are but, this is not a hard and fast rule with many stores being at locations that are either leased or rented. Over the course of time, CVS does try to buy a permanent location at a place where their business is profitable enough.

Question. What is the minimum age to be working at CVS?

The minimum age to be working at a CVS store is 16 years. Some jobs might however require you to be older than 16 years. Part-time jobs do not require many prerequisites from a candidate, but the senior positions at the company usually require a person to have a college degree and appropriate experience in a related field.

Question. Does CVS offer notary services at all of its locations?

As of 2021, CVS does offer notary services at most of their larger stores. One can avail of all kinds of notary services at a CVS store at a minimal cost of around $5 – $20, depending on the size of the documents to be notarized. It is suggested that a person should call in at the respective CVS branch before going to avail of the notary services. This went a long way in increasing CVS’ popularity among its consumers.

Is CVS a franchise?

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