The current year is two-thirds finished, and the good news is most notable by its absence. Sales are soft, earnings elusive. Hot new items are few and far between. Growth is nowhere to be seen. Meaningful executive job shifts have been all but absent. Mergers and acquisitions have failed to materialize — and even those
In the aftermath of the failed Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) acquisition of Rite Aid Corp., very little has happened. Rather, it’s like the event itself, or the nonevent, was an ending, a development so sudden and final that nothing else could happen. WBA continues to gather momentum, adding sales and stores in the U.S.
The Total Store Expo, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ annual front-end and pharmacy event, is once again upon us. Now in its fifth iteration, it has already been successful in replacing the Marketplace Conference, an NACDS meeting that had outlived its original purpose and had no legitimate second act to call upon. But
The biggest stories to come out of chain drug retailing thus far in 2017 are non-stories. Indeed, it’s grocery and discount store retailers that are making all the news, while drug chains continue to anticipate the newest developments — or, more likely, wait for them to happen. In the supermarket business, Albertsons Cos. is making
In late May, both Walmart and Target Corp. issued their quarterly performance numbers. Each revealed some surprises, and both left those retailing authorities who still retain some faith in the business a bit more optimistic than they had been. Here’s a look at the numbers: First, Walmart. Most surprising here was the revelation that the
Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, was named chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores at the 2017 NACDS Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., last month, succeeding Martin Otto, who is H-E-B’s chief financial officer and chief merchant, in that post. In his initial remarks as NACDS chairman, Gourlay emphasized
New formats are popping up throughout the chain drug industry, as retailers seek to overcome the sales malaise that has ensnared the industry this year. To recapture lost momentum, chain drug retailers are testing new store sizes, new merchandise assortments, new product locations within stores and new store concepts, sometimes all at once. It’s far
April is here — and still no resolution on the pending acquisition of Rite Aid Corp. by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. As time stretches out, this indecision bodes ill for an acquisition that was until recently viewed as an agreement with benefits for both parties. Now, confusion is apparently overtaking certainty — and there is
Once upon a time, the basic drug store merchandise mix was a simple affair, a half-dozen major brands in each product category, a handful of popular sizes, a small assortment of line extensions. No longer. Today’s drug store shelves are crammed with both major and supplementary brands. Indeed, sometimes off-brands dominate. Line extensions sometimes dominate.
The major question in mass retailing this year, as the industry concludes the second month of 2017, is when — and indeed whether — Walgreens Boots Alliance’s acquisition of Rite Aid will be fruitfully concluded. As anyone who really cares knows by now the deadline for finalizing the Walgreens-Rite Aid merger has been extended to
Going into the new year, several key personnel questions await answers, foremost among them the age-old problem of determining who, in 2017, will emerge as the most influential senior staffers at America’s drug chains. The determination is made more difficult by the fact that, as of this writing, Walgreens’ acquisition of Rite Aid remains unresolved.
The new year is finally here. On balance, 2016 was a year best forgotten. Very few events of a positive nature will be remembered. On the other hand, many unsettling moments would best be reviewed at another time — if at all. As 2017 dawns, several important questions remain to be resolved, a few of
For chain drug industry people, 2016 will be remembered as a year best forgotten — as much for the uncertainty of the future as for the problems of the past. As November ended and December began, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores brought industry leaders together in New York City for NACDS Week in
As the year nears its end, surprises continue to make news in chain drug retailing. Mostly, negative surprises. Earlier this month, CVS downsized its headquarters staff by some 600 employees, stopping for a moment the retailer’s uninterrupted string of good news. Following that announcement, the Woonsocket, R.I.-based drug chain issued a warning that results might