Walgreens History Essay

Walgreens History And Background Essay

Walgreens History and Background:
Walgreens was founded in 1901 measuring 50 feet by 20 feet by Charles R. Walgreen, Sr.. Mr. Walgreen was born near Galesburg, Illinois and his family later relocated to Dixon, Illinois at town about 60 miles north of his birthplace. Mr. Walgreens’ father was a farmer who turned into a businessperson and saw a great potential of the Rock River Valley (Walgreen, n.d., p.1). At age 16, Charles Walgreen had his first experience working in a drug store. He didn’t always have pleasurable experiences but it was a job with pay. He had an accident at a shoe factory that cut off his left middle finger from the top joint. This injury also stops him from playing any sports at school. After a year and a half with the drug store, Mr. Walgreen left to pursue something bigger in the big city-Chicago.
Mr. Walgreen moved to Chicago in 1893, where he found at least 1,500 drug stores already competing for business. Mr. Walgreen was broke and threw a couple of pennies in the Chicago River and committed himself to his profession and a lifetime of perseverance and hard work. He did not want help from his family because he wanted to be successful on his own (Walgreen, n.d., p. 1).
Mr. Walgreen knew if he was going to be successful in the pharmacy business, he had to learn as much as he could from other pharmacists. Mr. Walgreen worked a series of jobs with the top leading pharmacists named Samuel Rosenfeld, Max Grieben, William G. Valentine, and Isaac W. Blood. However, Mr. Walgreen found that these pharmacists were teaching him old fashioned complacent methods of running a drugstore. He asked himself, “where was the selection of goods that customers really wanted and what about the customer service?” Mr. Walgreen came to the conclusion that he must open his own pharmacy and he became a registered pharmacist in 1897 (Walgreen, n.d., p. 2).
Walgreens Pharmacy:
It was not until 1901 that Mr. Walgreen was able to put together enough money for the down payment on his pharmacy. He wanted to buy the pharmacy that one of the top pharmacists Isaac Blood owned. However, Mr. Blood wasn’t that eager to sell to Mr. Walgreen. Although, they had a good working relationship and Mr. Walgreen was a trusted employee, Mr. Blood was skeptical to sell. Mr. Blood decided to sell at $6,000 instead of the original selling price of $4,000. Mr. Walgreen thought the new selling price was a little steep for his pockets, but he decided to take a loan a buy it any way.
Walgreen’s drugstore was located in Barrett’s Hotel at Cottage Grove and Bowen Ave on Chicago’s Southside. The neighborhood was prospering but Walgreen’s wasn’t. Mr. Walgreen decided to add brighter lights, expand the aisles (since the other pharmacies were dull and cramped), and add variety like pots and pans (unheard of in a drugstore. The quality of Walgreen’s pharmaceutical compounds met the very highest standards of purity and freshness. Efficiency was increased. But the most dramatic...

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Walgreens, America's largest chain of pharmacies, traces its roots back to 1901, when Charles R Walgreen bought out his employer and set up under his own name in Chicago's prosperous South Side. He became a registered pharmacist, mixing and packaging his own drugs to ensure their quality and affordability. He embraced the soda fountain craze, producing drinks and ice creams in summer, and teamed up with his wife to produce soups and sandwiches in winter.

By 1925 Walgreen had more than 65 stores and had expanded to Milwaukee, St Louis and Minneapolis. He took the company public two years later, and at the time of the Great Depression Walgreens had more than 500 stores from New York to Florida. It countered the economic downturn by selling own-brand products, advertising on radio – and by selling bootleg whisky. After Walgreen's death in 1939 the business passed to his son. By 1975 sales surpassed $1bn (£639m), and the 1,000th Walgreens store opened in 1984. A series of acquisitions followed, but until now have been restricted to the US and Puerto Rico. Walgreens amassed $72bn in sales last year. Juliette Garside

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