Jun 22, 2022
An innovator and one of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States, Walgreens was the first major retailer to put prescriptions in child-proof containers, introduce electronic prescription software, and, some say, even invented the malted shake!
This innovation and customer focus are the reason the chain has 18,500 stores in 11 countries and employs over 225,000 people. And, if you’re in the U.S, you probably live near a Walgreens as 78% of the population resides ‘within five miles’ of one of their stores.
That’s a lot to shout about for a brand, particularly as Walgreens started life in 1901 as a small food store in Chicago. Indeed it’s only one of a handful of U.S retailers still operating after 100 years. But it’s not just innovation that’s made the chain so successful, their omnichannel approach, commitment to technology, and customer-centric ethos have enabled it to survive and expand across countries and even continents.
But the market is competitive and along with its main competitors CVS and Walmart, Walgreens has seen a behemoth enter the market over the last few years. Retail giant Amazon has set its sights on the pharmacy market to disrupt it the same way it shook up the retail market space.
Let’s take a closer look at how Walgreens has managed to adapt and succeed, from its earliest days and far into the digital age, and what can we learn from its marketing strategies?
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