Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Drugstores duke it out for first place

September 25, 2009

Statisticians in the drugstore industry (if they are out there), must be scratching their heads.

CVS opened its 7,000th store on Sunday.  It was a pretty big deal, with the drugstore company’s president, Larry Merlo, even heading to Little Canada, Minnesota, for Thursday’s grand opening celebration.

cvs1So, CVS now has 7,000 stores in 41 states and the District of Columbia, and calls its CVS/pharmacy chain “America’s largest retail pharmacy.”

But take a look at rival Walgreen.

WALGREEN/Walgreen, or Walgreens, as the stores are called, has been around more than 60 years longer than CVS.  It has the lead, at least when it comes to stores and states covered.

Walgreen has been paring back its rapid store openings.  Even so, its 7,000th store actually opened the first week in September and it has stores in every U.S state.  Update: Walgreen’s current store count is 7,036.

Let’s take a look at revenue.  CVS has the overall lead, if you include its big pharmacy benefits management business.  If you focus on the stores, Walgreen holds the top spot.  Barely.  According to IBISWorld, Walgreen has 27 percent of industry revenue, while CVS holds 26 percent.

Still, CVS won the party game.  Walgreen’s 7,000th store celebration won’t take place until Oct. 1.

(Reuters photos)


If our legislators divorce their owners in the pharma business, these chain druggists will get even more revenues. Imagine if folks could actually afford the medicines they need.

Posted by Unemployed | Report as abusive

We need to have more competition in the drugstore industry, since CVS and Walgreens — with over 7,000 drugstores each — have developed a monopoly by forcing most of the independent drugstores out of business.

The federal government must institute an incentive plan that would allow pharmacists to open up their own independent pharmacies to provide more competition and lower prices for pharmaceuticals. Until this plan is implemented, we will continue to pay exorbitant prices for prescriptions, and millions of Americans will continue to send their prescriptions to be filled in Canada, since costs for pharmaceuticals there tend to be less than half the cost of the United States.


Walgreens is now selling the best energy candy in the world, my husband and i love it. Its called Kabang Energy Candy it contains 100% vitamin b6, b12, c, plus ginseng and NO CAFFEINE and its only .59 cents and two pieces for a $1.00

Posted by Jessica | Report as abusive

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