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
In chain drug retailing, the most disappointing product category in 2016 has been beauty care. Indeed, the problem with the beauty care category in chain drug stores is, quite simply, the chain drug store’s inability to generate any significant interest in the category. It performs far more credibly in other mass retailing outlets, and it
Two months remain in 2016, and the news out of the chain drug industry remains relatively scanty. Industry gatherings are few and far between — indeed, three months have passed since the NACDS Total Store Expo gathered the industry together in Boston. Against that background, the NACDS year-end meetings, scheduled for New York City following
The ranks of the chain drug industry’s giants continue to shrink — and, typically of a business that continues to grow, prosper and change, the tendency is to forget to remember what these icons accomplished. Last month, two executives who were instrumental in building chain drug retailing passed away. They were radically different, yet remarkably
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers held its 2016 General Membership Meeting in London in mid-September. No one can blame you for not immediately recognizing IFPW. Though it is a global organization with members representing countries around the world, it touches only peripherally on the retail pharmacy industry. Rather, its immediate concern is the intersection
The all-important Christmas selling season is about to begin. Truth is, the season begins during the run-up to Halloween and runs, virtually non-stop, through December 24. The highlights are the countdown to the day after Thanksgiving, the period immediately following Thanksgiving week and the final days before Christmas Day. Even now, the nation’s drug stores
The year 2016 is more than half over — and the news concerning the chain drug store community has hardly made a ripple. The Walgreens acquisition of Rite Aid remains a work in progress, though all parties hoped it would have been completed by now. The NACDS Total Store Expo event is unfolding without many
Chain drug store operators are unique among mass market retailers in many ways, none more dramatic than the separation of the pharmacy and front-end businesses. In fact, they are actually two separate businesses, neither overly dependent on the other for success. So it is that the success in pharmacy of a retailer like Walgreens Boots
Amid the dazzling array of industry events that marked April as an exceptional month in the chain drug retailing community, Tom Coughlin, the legendary Walmart executive who led the company through some of its most memorable years, passed away at the age of 67. His funeral was held in Bentonville, Ark., a week before the