Walgreens company information, drugstore chain by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Walgreen Co. is
the largest U.S. drugstore chain by sales.
March 2009 - Walgreen Co posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the drugstore chain controlled costs even as consumers cut back on discretionary buying. Walgreen has cut about 1,000 jobs at its headquarters and other non-store locations and has more effectively managed its employees' hours to rein in salary costs. It has also reduced the number of 24-hour pharmacies and taken other steps as it tries to save $1 billion per year by fiscal 2011.
January 2007 -
A new hand gel is starting to appear on Walgreen drug-store shelves promising
more than just an end to germs or dry skin -- this one claims to satisfy users'
tobacco cravings for up to four hours. Walgreen Co., is now stocking its more
than 5,500 stores with packets of Nicogel, a quick-evaporating gel made with
tobacco extracts. Nicogel, made by a unit of privately held Blue Whale Worldwide
Inc., can be used when smoking is inconvenient, such as at work, on an airplane,
in a theater or, these days, in almost any other public place. Blue Whale, which
also sells a smokeless tobacco substitute made from tea leaves, is hoping to
cash in on the increasing number of smoking bans and the ill-effects of
second-hand smoke, Chief Executive Bill Whalen said in an interview this week.
"The potential for this product is enormous," said Whalen, a horticultural
geneticist with a business degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton
School. "The most important thing is smoking bans. (Also, more) people don't
want to smell like smoke." Nicogel, which is already sold in 40 other countries
including the United Kingdom, France and Germany, could generate $200 million in
U.S. sales this year, Whalen said, predicting that sales will reach $1 billion
by the end of 2008. Nicogel has all the components of tobacco but lacks many
carcinogens, which are formed as cigarettes burn.
Patrick Reynolds, spokesman for the Foundation for a Smokefree America, said many anti-smoking advocates will likely oppose the use of Nicogel, claiming that it enables smokers to avoid stopping.
July 2006 - Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore company in terms of revenue, plans to open more health clinics within its drugstores, marking the latest move by a pharmacy chain to offer health services that go beyond filling prescriptions. CVS Corp., the largest chain in terms of the most stores, said it plans to buy MinuteClinic, the biggest operator of retail-based health clinics in the United States, a move that will help it expand offerings for customers at its drugstores. Walgreen, based in Deerfield, Illinois, opened 10 Health Corner Clinics in the Kansas City market last week and plans to open nine more in the St. Louis area later this summer. It also said it plans to open at least a dozen of the clinics in each of the Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas markets later this year, starting with Chicago this fall. The Walgreens clinics offer diagnosis and treatment of routine medical conditions, as well as screenings for conditions such as diabetes and vaccinations for flu, hepatitis B, meningitis and tetanus/diphtheria. There are currently 83 MinuteClinic locations in 10 U.S. states. Sixty-six of those are located in CVS stores. Walgreen is partnering with InterFit Health (RediClinic) in Atlanta, Take Care Health in Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis, and Pinnacle EasyCare in Las Vegas. The Walgreens clinics offer services for insured patients, usually at the same price as an office visit co-pay, and offer uninsured patients services below the cost of a typical emergency room or out-of-pocket physician's office visit.
Walgreens Co. is the largest U.S. drugstore chain by sales.
See also Walmart stores.