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Chain Drug Review: The Top 10 Drug Chains

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The biggest retailers got stronger, but all in all the chain drug sector turned in an impressive performance in 2009.

Also in the Chain Drug Review 2010 State of the Industry report:

Q&A with new NACDS chairman Larry Merlo

Industry Outlook: Strong Rx business buoys drug chains

Anderson gives take on health reform


NEW YORK — The biggest retailers got stronger, but all in all the chain drug sector turned in an impressive performance in 2009.

CVS Caremark Corp. wrapped up its blockbuster acquisition of Longs Drug Stores, fortifying its position as one of the nation’s leading drug chains and, along with its burgeoning pharmacy benefit management and MinuteClinic businesses, expanding its health care services footprint.

And not to be outdone was Walgreen Co., which made a series of small drug retail acquisitions in 2009 and then followed them up with a blockbuster of its own early this year by purchasing Duane Reade Inc., New York City’s dominant drug store chain. Walgreens, too, made its mark on the health care services front — particularly with an aggressive flut shot program that the company said administered over 7.4 million seasonal flu shots and H1N1 immunizations this past flu season.

Last October, the two chains also eclipsed the 7,000 mark in stores. Walgreens leads in store count with 7,180 locations, followed by CVS at 7,027 stores.

The next biggest drug chain by stores, Rite Aid Corp., has 4,781 locations. Rounding out the top 10 are Health Mart (2,555 drug stores), Katz Group (1,494), Shoppers Drug Mart (1,219), Medicine Shoppe (708), McKesson Canada (500), Pharmasave (426) and Uniprix (393).

Overall, chain drug store dollar volume totaled $226.1 billion in 2009, up 7.4% year over year, according to research by Racher Press, publisher of Chain Drug Review. Same-store sales, meanwhile, edged up 3.4%. Chain drug stores accounted for 75% of all drug store sales last year.

Here’s a list of the leading drug store chains by revenue:

1. Walgreens — $63.34 billion
2. CVS Caremark — $55.36 billion (retail sales only)
3. Rite Aid — $25.67 billion
4. Shoppers Drug Mart — $9.77 billion*
5. Katz Group — $7.96 billion**
6. Health Mart — $6.20 billion
7. Jean Coutu Group — $2.32 billion*
8. Medicine Shoppe — $2.10 billion
9. London Drugs — $2.05 billlion**
10. Duane Reade — $1.84 billion
Source: Racher Press research.
*Converted from Canadian dollars.
**Estimate. Converted from Canadian dollars.













***For the full list of the Top 50 Drug Chains by sales and by store count, as well as industry outlook and trend articles, drug chain profiles, and economic analysis, see the State of the Industry report in the April 26, 2010, print issue of Chain Drug Review.


Industry Outlook: Healthy Rx buoys drug chains

Interview: With Merlo, NACDS has sure hand at helm

Q&A: Anderson keeps NACDS focused on what matters


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