Walgreen Company or simply Walgreens is an American company that operates as the second-largest pharmacy store chain in the United States behind CVS Health. It specializes in filling prescriptions, health and wellness products, health information, and photo services. As of August 31,... Read More
Walgreen Company or simply Walgreens is an American company that operates as the second-largest pharmacy store chain in the United States behind CVS Health. It specializes in filling prescriptions, health and wellness products, health information, and photo services. As of August 31, 2019, the company operated 9,277 stores in the United States. It was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1901. The Walgreens headquarters office is in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois. In 2014 the company agreed to purchase the remaining 55% of Switzerland-based Alliance Boots that it did not already own to form a global business. Under the terms of the purchase, the two companies merged to form a new holding company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., on December 31, 2014. Walgreens became a subsidiary of the new company, which retains its Deerfield headquarters and trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol WBA.
- 1Company history
- 221st-century expansion
- 3Contributions to popular culture
- 2Corporate operations
- 4Store model
- 5Related ventures
- 6Consumer record
- 1Investor relations
- 3Allegations of discrimination
- 5Express Scripts
- 6Use of proprietary drugs
- 7Distribution of oxycodone
- 8Sale of tobacco
- 9Theranos Partnership
- 10Pricing and advertising
- 11Medication denied because of religious beliefs
- 7See also
- 9External links
Company historyEarly "Walgreen Drugs" sign still in use in San Antonio, Texas Walgreens began in 1901, with a small food front store on the corner of Bowen and Cottage Grove Avenues in Chicago, owned by Galesburg native Charles R. Walgreen. By 1913, Walgreens had grown to four stores on Chicago's South Side. It opened its fifth in 1915 and four more in 1916. By 1919, there were 20 stores in the chain. As a result of alcohol prohibition, the 1920s were a successful time for Walgreens. Although alcohol was illegal, prescription whiskey was available and sold by Walgreens. In 1922 the company introduced a malted milkshake, which led to its establishing ice cream manufacturing plants. The next year, Walgreen began opening stores away from residential areas. In the mid 1920s, there were 44 stores with annual sales of $1,200,000 combined. Walgreens had also expanded by then into Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. By 1930 it had 397 stores with annual sales of US$4,000,000. This expansion partly was attributed to selling prescribed alcohol, mainly whiskey, which Walgreen often stocked under the counter, as accounted in Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. The stock market crash in October 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression did not greatly affect the company. By 1934, Walgreens was operating in 30 states with 601 stores. After Charles Walgreen Sr. died in 1939, his son Charles R. Walgreen Jr. took over the chain until his retirement. The Charles R. Walgreen (Walgreen Jr.) years were relatively prosperous, but lacked the massive expansion seen in the early part of the century. Charles "Cork" R. Walgreen III took over after Walgreen Jr.'s retirement in the early 1950s and modernized the company by switching to barcode scanning. The Walgreen family was not involved in senior management of the company for a short time following Walgreen III's retirement. In 1986, it acquired the MediMart chain from Stop & Shop. In 1995, Kevin P. Walgreen was made a vice-president and promoted to Senior Vice President of Store Operations in 2006. On July 12, 2006, David Bernauer stepped down as CEO of Walgreens and was replaced by company president Jeff Rein. Holding degrees in accounting and pharmacy from the University of Arizona, Rein was a pharmacist, store manager, district manager, and treasurer prior to being named Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Greg Wasson, former President of Walgreens Health Services, was named President and Chief Operations Officer. On October 10, 2008, Rein abruptly quit as CEO and was replaced by Alan G. McNally as Chairman and Acting CEO. On January 26, 2009, Gregory Wasson was named CEO effective February 1, 2009. In February 2020, Walgreens announced the appointment of Richard Ashworth as President of the company. Prior to the appointment, he served as President of Operations for Walgreens.
21st-century expansionA neon-lit store on Canal Street in New Orleans
- 2006: Walgreens acquired the Happy Harry's chain in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.
- October 2007: Walgreens opened its 6,000th store, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- January 2008: Walgreens purchased 20 stores in Puerto Rico from Farmacias El Amal.
- July 2009: Walgreens operates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
- February 17, 2010: Walgreens announced plans to acquire New York City-area chain Duane Reade for $1.075 billion, including debt.Walgreens continues to use the Duane Reade name on some stores in the New York City metropolitan area
- March 24, 2011: Walgreens acquired Drugstore.com for $409 million. Drugstore.com, in turn, owned Beauty.com. In 2013 Beauty.com was named by Internet Retailer Magazine in its Top 100 online retail sites list.
- April 30, 2011: Walgreens operated 8,169 stores; it had expanded into Guam and Puerto Rico.
- August 18, 2011: Walgreens introduced its "Nice!" store brand of food and household products. Fully rolled out in 2012, the Nice! brand replaced a variety of existing Walgreens store brands such as Deerfield Farms, Cafe W, and others.
- June 19, 2012: Walgreens paid $6.7 billion for a 45% interest in Alliance Boots.
- July 5, 2012: Walgreens entered into an agreement to acquire Mid-South drug store chain operating under the USA Drug, Super D Drug, May's Drug, Med-X, and Drug Warehouse banners. The deal was expected to be finalized by September 1, 2012.
- September 10, 2013: Walgreens announced it had acquired Kerr Drug.
- September 14, 2013: Walgreens opens its first store in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- August 6, 2014: Walgreens exercised its option to purchase the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots. The combined company is known as the Walgreens Boots Alliance and is headquartered in Chicago.
- August 9, 2014 Walgreens Boots Alliance purchased a share in the Almus Generic brand for an unknown price. Almus was based in the UK with Walgreens bringing the generic medication into the US. 
- On October 27, 2015, Walgreens announced that it would acquire its rival Rite Aid for $9 per share, a deal valued at $9.4 billion, pending regulatory and shareholder approval. The deal will result in a merger of two of the United States' three largest pharmacy chains.In response to being able to receive approval, Walgreens said that it would be willing to divest up to 1,000 stores to win regulatory approval for its Rite Aid purchase. Walgreens and Rite Aid, combined, own approximately 200 million square feet of retail space in addition to 21 million square feet of office and warehouse space. The two chains operate 12,900 stores in the United States. Walgreens operates 13,100 stores across 11 countries. Walgreens' CEO has stated that there is potentially over $1 billion in savings to be reaped from the merger through synergies. On December 21, 2016, it was announced that Fred's would acquire 865 Rite Aid stores as a result of the merger for the price of US$950 million for antitrust reasons. In January 2017, Walgreens reached a deal to lower the price of the acquisition from $9.4 to $6.8-$7.4 billion and delayed the closing by six months. On June 29, 2017, Walgreens announced that it would drop its original plan to acquire Rite Aid due to resistance from federal regulators, and would instead buy about half of Rite Aid's existing stores for $5.18 billion in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, Walgreens will acquire 2,186 stores, 3 distribution centers, and other Rite Aid inventory. The stores are expected to be converted from Rite Aid stores into Walgreens stores, making Walgreens the largest drug-store chain by number of locations in the U.S. with over 10,200 stores. The company also agreed to pay Rite Aid a $325 million fee for ending the earlier merger agreements. The deal was scrapped on June 29, 2017. On September 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a fourth deal agreement to purchase Rite Aid with 1,932 stores for $4.38 billion total.
- On July 28, 2016, Walgreens announced it would shut down Drugstore.com, as well as Beauty.com, in order to focus on its own Walgreens.com website.
- In October 2017, Walgreens announced they would be closing approximately 600 stores in the two years. The stores would be mostly Rite Aid locations and the closings would begin in the spring of 2018.
- In January 2018, Walgreens stated that it expects to acquire 1,932 Rite Aid locations by the spring of 2018.
- In August 2019, Walgreens announced it would be closing approximately 200 stores.
Contributions to popular cultureWalgreens claims credit for the popularization of the malted milkshake (or at least its version of the malted milkshake, invented by Ivar "Pop" Coulson in 1922), although milkshakes and malted milk had been around for some time before. This development coincided with the invention of the electric blender in the same year. In November 2010 Walgreens filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Wegmans supermarket chain, claiming the "W" in the Wegman's logo is too similar to Walgreens'. The lawsuit was settled in April 2011, with Wegmans agreeing to discontinue use of its "W" logo by June 2012, although the supermarket retains the right to use the "Wegmans" name in script. According to Jo Natale, Wegmans director of media relations, "The cost of making relatively minor changes to a limited number of products was much less than the cost of litigating this case to the end." The logo for the Washington Nationals baseball team is very similar to the Walgreens "W" (though it dates back to the 1960s iteration of the Washington Senators); to date, Walgreens never challenged the Nationals' use of their "W" in a lawsuit.
Corporate operationsWalgreens has its corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois. As of 2009, Walgreens employed 5,200 people at its headquarters. Walgreens has had a technology office located in Chicago since 2010. The location serves as a their digital hub. In 1987 Walgreens employed about 1,100 people at its headquarters, which was at the time in an unincorporated area on the west side of Deerfield. As of 2000, headquarters was still in an unincorporated area in West Deerfield Township. In summer 2014 a corporate relocation to Switzerland was considered as part of a merger with Alliance Boots, a European drugstore chain. This drew controversy as many consumers felt that it was an attempt at tax inversion. On August 5, 2014, Walgreens announced that they would not be relocating their headquarters. In spring 2018 Walgreens announced it would relocate about 1,800 jobs, many of them relating to its digital and IT operations, to the newly renovated Old Chicago Main Post Office.
|List of Walgreens Boots Alliance brands|
|Big Roll||Toilet Paper|
|Liz Earle||Skincare (UK)|
|Smile & Save||Paper Towels|
|Soap & Glory||Cosmetics|
|Well at Walgreens||Healthcare|