Walgreen Company Analysis


1)Company and its genesis

For 7 straight years, Walgreen’s has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Corporations In America.”

Walgreen’s is celebrating its centennial. Walgreen Co. was founded in  1901 by Charles Walgreen.  From a humble beginnings in 1901, they have grown to a $22 billion retailing network ranked fifth among all U.S. retailers.

Charles Walgreen, at the age of 16, had his first experience working in a drugstore. Working at Horton’s Drugstore (for $4 a week) was a job he took only because of an accident that left him unable to take part in sports. While working in a local shoe factory, Walgreen accidentally cut off the top joint of his middle finger, ending his athletic competition. Were it not for the accident, Walgreen might never have become a pharmacist, business owner and phenomenally successful entrepreneur.

So he decided to start a drug store to provide medicines, so he founded a drugstore in 1901 in Chicago  and measuring just 50 feet by 20 feet.

And now 100 years down the line they serve more than 2.6 million customers daily, averaging $6.4 million in annual sales per store, and they employ 141,000 individuals & fortune ranks them 3 rd in overall employee talent Even Though they are 101 year old 1/3 of their stores are less than 3 years old. Walgreen’s averages a new store opening every 17 hours and will operate over 6000 drugstores by the year 2010.

2)Nature of business

Walgreen’s goal has always been to be the nation’s most convenient and most technologically advanced healthcare retailer.

At Walgreen’s, they have 100 years of experience and many resources that have helped to keep our operations running smoothly throughout this period of rapid growth. They have strong financial controls, a state-of-the-art pharmacy and workflow system, a highly efficient distribution operation and Intercom Plus, which links all of the Walgreen’s stores and is the most efficient system in the industry.

The Group’s principal activity is to operate a chain of retail drugstores that sell prescription and nonprescription drugs. These drugstores also carry additional product lines like general merchandise, cosmetics, toiletries, household items, food and beverages. Customer prescription purchases can be made at the drugstores as well as through the mail, by telephone and on the Internet.

The Group markets its products under various trademarks and trade names and holds assorted business licenses (pharmacy, occupational, liquor etc.) having various lives. The Group currently operates 3,517 retail drugstores and 3 mail service facilities. The Group operates in 43 states within the continental United States and in Puerto Rico.

3)Brands: Names, MS, its share & growth

The Group’s principal activity is to operate a chain of retail drugstores that sell prescription and nonprescription drugs. These drugstores also carry additional product lines like general merchandise, cosmetics, toiletries, household items, food and beverages. The company has recorded the 7 th consecutive year with record profits & excellent increase in the sales of each of it’s products.

They have gained market leadership in 52 of the top 60 categories in 2002. They are winning business from not only drug stores but also from discounters & grocers.

The share of it’s various products to the total revenue earned by Walgreen are as follows

1.Prescription drugs accounted for 58%

2.General Merchandise, 23%;

3.Nonprescription Drugs, 12% and

4.Cosmetics and Toiletries, 7%.

of fiscal 2001 revenues;

4)Marketing strategies & Promotions

1] The organisation has come out with on line purchases of medical products through its website www.walgreens.com

2 ] It also allows the refillment of the prescription medicines either by home delivery & shipment or by store pick up.

3 ] Excellent discounts are available through on line purchases & also free gifts are available through purchases from the net.

4 ] They try & educate the consumers about the product & its features through direct home to home advertisement.

5 ] They are educating the consumers about the importance of health through its health clinics. They provide information about the health issues the level of cholesterol & other important health issues such as baby care ,health care , level of vitamins & mineral content requirements etc.

6 ] The website also provides the details of finding out the Walgreen Store nearest to the place of office/ residence.

7 ] They sell their products through their own stores, home delivery through on line purchases from the net. They also provide their products at recognized departmental stores.

8 ] If you are a registered user on its website it provides you the opportunity

to make your prescription list & store it & they will send you the medicines as & when they time for refillment occurs.

9] They provide prescription information label in 8 different languages.

10]Walgreens new computer system for filling prescriptions, Intercom Plus, links all stores into a single network and represents how advanced technology serves customers’ needs better than any other pharmacy resource. 11] Walgreens is the largest private user of satellite technology (second only to the United States government).

12] Billing, labeling and prescription histories (for tax planning and reimbursement) are available more quickly and easily than ever before.

Because of these reasons it has a good market leadership

5)Advertisment Agency

Catalina Marketing Corp., St. Petersburg, FL, announced that its health care division, Health Resource Publishing Company, St. Louis, added Walgreen Co. the nation’s largest drugstore chain, to its Health Resource Network. Walgreen’s is selectively installing the system, which produces the Health Resource Newsletter, a personalized, targeted pharmacy-delivered newsletter that gives shoppers up-to-date information on medication, compliance messages, and advertising for related products.

6)Marketing Blunder

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Walgreen Co. is recalling about 40,000 Kid’s Sipper Bottles. The bottles’ caps can be pulled off, creating a potential choking hazard.

CPSC and Walgreen are not aware of any injuries or incidents involving these bottles. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

The Kid’s Sipper Bottle is a 9-ounce rectangular bottle with one of four animal characters on the cap – a fish, frog, chicken (duck) or whale. The bottle includes a plastic belt clip on the back. The bottles’ packaging includes the writing, “KID’S Sipper Bottle with belt clip,” and “For Ages 18 Mos. & Up.”

7)Financial  Analysis

Net Sales $17,838.8 $15,306.6 $13,363.0
Costs and Deductions Cost of sales 12,978.6 11,139.4 9,681.8
Selling, occupancy and administration 3,844.8 3,332.0 2,972.5
16,823.4 14,471.4 12,654.3
Other (Income) Expense Interest income (12.3) (5.6) (5.5)
Interest expense .4 1.1 1.6
Gain on sale of long-term pharmacies (37.4)
(11.9) (41.9) (3.9)
Earnings Earnings before income tax provision and cumulative effect of accounting change 1,027.3 877.1 712.6
Income tax provision 403.2 339.9 276.1
Earnings before cumulative effect of accounting change 624.1 537.2 436.5
Cumulative effect of accounting change for system development costs (26.4)
Net earnings $ 624.1 $ 510.8 $ 436.5

The auditors are Arthur Anderson

Operating Margin (1 year): 5.73%

Profit Margin (1 year): 3.60%

Management effectiveness

Return on Equity (1 year): 19.65%

Return on assets (1 year): 11.80%

8)Social Marketing

The Walgreen Drug Stores Historical Foundation

Walgreen has been responsible for numerous business innovations, as well as thousands of products that were developed, handled and sold by hundreds of it’s employees. Until the 1980s, collecting and documenting the history of the company had been an informal process. That all changed with the advent of the Walgreen Drug Stores Historical Foundation.

The Foundation exists to preserve the heritage of Walgreen for present and future generations, as well as to educate the public and current employees about the history of retail pharmacy. From restaurant menus to playing cards and from cigar boxes to discontinued product packaging, the Historical Foundation collects artifacts donated by Walgreen aficionados from all over the country. In 1986, the Historical Foundation unveiled a reproduction of Walgreen’s first drugstore, a 1901 store featuring turn-of-the-century products and packaging.


Walgreens is committed to improving our customers’ lives across America. Last year, we gave over $1 million to numerous charities, donating over $250,000 to the treatment and cure of HIV/AIDS alone. Some donations are earmarked for specific fundraising events such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, while others are made to research programs or given to areas showing greatest need. Each agency works to cure specific diseases afflicting our customers.

Walgreens works towards the betterment of America’s youth and disadvantaged populations. Grants are given to numerous organizations across the country that help to operate programs which enable the welfare of children and our aging citizens.

Over $1 million is given each year to numerous educational institutions across the country.

AWARE Talk Radio

Chicago’s and the nation’s most widely syndicated, weekly, “newstalk” radio program provides the public with easy-to-understand information on health and personal well-being.

Pharmacy Classroom Presentations

Walgreens is launching an exciting new program to introduce high school students to careers in pharmacy, and we would welcome the chance to have your classroom participate

Employee Involvement
Across the country, Walgreens has dedicated employees who participate in fundraising events such as Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, and Bicycle for AIDS. Their enthusiasm is recognized and appreciated by our customers Walgreens provides a competitive salary with the opportunity for paid overtime, medical, dental and life insurance, profit sharing, a prescription drug plan, paid vacations, employee discounts and the peace of mind that comes from working with a solid industry leader.

9) Channel

Walgreen sells most of its products in it’s own stores & it also has home delivery of medicines to through on line purchase through the net. It also provides it’s medicines to major departmental & medical stores.

It provides medicines at discounts to hospitals.

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