The American economist Edgar Fiedler appropriately warned that “he who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass.” Fiedler aside, chain drug retailers may want to consider a series of future commercial opportunities emerging from what — at least at times — might appear to be the disruptive chaos of today’s market.
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 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
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
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
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
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 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
NEW YORK — The new landscape of chain drug retailing came into sharper relief over the past year. Integration and consolidation were the themes, as Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) assimilated its global holdings while agreeing to buy Rite Aid Corp., and CVS Health picked up Target Corp. pharmacies as well as long-term-care pharmacy leader
The new year has begun inauspiciously for chain drug retailing, an industry that is still trying to assess the results of the just completed Christmas selling season. By all accounts, December was a month of no great accomplishments, even if it was not the disaster some observers predicted. Now it’s on to 2016, and the
Christmas is over, yesterday’s news. And the mass retailing community is scampering to assess its impact on sales, earnings and the future. For chain drug retailers, this holiday selling season, like so many before it, was acceptable, if hardly record-setting. As in previous years, America’s drug chains suffered from an absence of exciting new products
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores held its year-end meetings in New York City early this month — and very little was as it had been a year ago. Many of the same familiar faces were on hand, and several of the same retail companies attended. But the yearlong series of events that have