Walgreen Company, simply called Walgreens, is a pharmacy store chain exclusively serving the United States. Its primary offering is to fill prescriptions, but it also deals in various, credible health and wellness products. You may even find an adjoining photo studio operated by the company around many of its outlets. And did you know that it is the second-largest pharmacy chain in the country, just behind CVS Health?
Walgreens was founded in 1901, not as a pharmacy outlet but as a food front store, by Charles R. Walgreen. It was during the prohibition era that its prescription whiskey became wildly popular, after which it completely transformed into a medical pharmacy. Today, the company is headquartered in Deerfield, IL, with over 9000 stores throughout the US, including DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Indeed, it is the go-to drug store for many citizens of these parts.
Deerfield, IL, US
Subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance, a Public Company of Nasdaq
Walgreens is a subsidiary of the Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), a multinational conglomerate developed by combining Walgreens and Alliance Boots (Switzerland). Hence, only the WBA’s revenue is made public, which amounts to a staggering $139.5 billion; and Walgreens’ contribution forms a much greater part of it! Essentially, Walgreens makes money by selling pharmacy products, right from filling general prescriptions to dealing in the rarer kinds of drugs useful for curing even rarer diseases.
Retail / Medicine
You will be hard put to find another company that stands strong in this industry other than Walgreens. CVS Health comes close, and even goes beyond Walgreens, but that is only because it offers a wider range of health solutions. But when it comes to only dealing in core commercial medicines, Walgreens is the company to beat. Even its health advice may be considered to be better than WebMD!
Companies Similar to Walgreens
Walgreens has been making headway in the pharmacy retail industry since its inception over a century ago. Indeed, it is among the most preferred pharmacies in the country, with a net income of over $2 billion. But if you are looking for other stores to buy your medicines from, occupational healthor daily use ones, then you don’t want to miss out on Walgreens’ top 3 competitors: McKesson, CVS Health, and Rite Aid.
Competitors to Walgreens:
The biggest rivals to Walgreens are CVS Health, McKesson, Rite Aid, and Kroger. The more pharmacy-focused ones are the top 3, but the bottom one isn’t far too down the ranks. Let’s discuss Walgreens’ similar companies, or competitors, in more detail.
Did you know that CVS Health generates more than double the revenue of Walgreens? Apart from being a pharmacy retailer, CVS provides a number of other healthcare products, many of which we might not even know existed! The company deserves to be listed right at the top here, not just because of its top-rated status in the US, but also considering its incredibly standardized customer service.
Retail / Healthcare
The healthcare department of Consumer Value Stores (CVS) was established in 1963. Back then, it sold health as well as beauty products. Sometime in the 1980s, many of its stores dedicated their services solely to selling medical products. Today, CVS Health is based in Woonsocket, RI, with nearly 10,000 other stores throughout the US.
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
McKesson provides everything that Walgreens does – pharmaceuticals, health info, and healthcare services. So why is its revenue of $238.2 billion higher than that of Walgreens? The answer is pretty straightforward: McKesson provides additional medical merchandise, like basic and advanced care management tools. After all, medical equipment often costs much more than the treatment itself!
McKesson operates throughout North America, and it supplies nearly 1/3rd of the medicines consumed in the country. Currently headquartered in Irving, TX, it not only sells medicines and pharmaceuticals but also deals in medical technology and healthcare services. Its subsidiaries include Rexall, Uniprix, and Health Mart.
Rite Aid Corporation is primarily a chain of drugstores operating from Camp Hill, PA. The company aims to help Americans lead healthy, happy life. Alex Grass established the first Rite Aid store in 1962 in Scranton, PA, and it expanded into other parts of the country in just about three years. Today, it is led by Heyward Donigan as its president and CEO.
Retail / Healthcare
Did you know that Rite Aid is featured in the Fortune 500 list of the largest US organization by revenue? If Walgreens hadn’t acquired over 1900 of its stores back in 2017, it might have been the largest pharmacy chain today! Apart from selling quality medicines, Rite Aid also provides personal care and hygiene products.
Camp Hill, PA
The Kroger Company’s business is mainly focused on the retail sector. However, many of its stores also fill prescriptions and sell medicines just like Walmart, which make it a formidable competitor of Walgreens. The company was founded in 1883 by Bernard Kroger who was just 23 years old back then.
Though Kroger operates a large number of supermarkets, it has a considerable number of pharmacies as well (nearly 2600). There are both in-store pharmacies and independent drugstores spread throughout the US. You will usually find The Little Clinic medical clinic alongside the pharmacy.
Walgreens’ biggest competitor is CVS Health. It not only offers everything that Walgreens does but also deals in a greater variety of other products. And the stats say it all – Walgreens’ $139.5B revenue to CVS Health’s $292.2B, more than double that of the former. Additionally, Walgreens and CVS have an almost similar number of employees, which implies more spending on the part of Walgreens.
Darrell Burges - Business Analyst & Technical Writer
Darrell Burges is a skilled business analyst and a technical writer for WCS. Based on his 5+ years of experience, he writes in-depth articles about competing companies and encourages individuals to explore alternatives in the business world. He is the one who knows how to engage you in the world of competitors and explain complex concepts in simple terms.