Walgreens was started when Charles R. Walgreen purchased a drugstore in Chicago where he had started as a pharmacist, in 1901. Charles Walgreen began to manufacture his own line of drug products to ensure the highest quality and low prices, which was something no other drugstores were doing. By 1922, Walgreens had a chain of 11 stores. They had invented the malted milkshake which brought even more customers, to buy the double-rich chocolate malted shake. By 1946, Walgreens had 100+ stores had purchased the first foreign property in Mexico. By the 1950’s, Walgreens began to build self-service instead of clerk service stores, which made the stores different from other drug stores. In 1953, it became the largest self-service retailer in the country.
Walgreens then spread into the global market in 1960, when they purchased a Puerto Rico drugstore. Again in 1968, Walgreen offered something that no other drugstore offered. They were the first to put prescriptions into child-resistant containers, long before it was required by law.
I In 1992 Walgreens astounded customers again by opening the first drugstore with a drive-thru pharmacy. In 1997, Walgreens installed an advanced computer system to speed up prescription filling, and allows you to pick up your prescription from any Walgreens as long as your prescription is in the system. Also in 1999, Walgreens went on-line to offer customers a more convenient and safe way to take care of many pharmaceutical and health care needs from wherever they were.
In 2002, Walgreens became the first drugstore chain to offer prescription labels in multiple languages. Labels can today be printed in 14 different languages such as; Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and English.
In 2006 Walgreens acquired Happy Harry’s drugstore, adding another 76 stores. They also began offering in-store health clinics. Walgreens continues to buy more and more chains, and always implementing new technology and products. By doing this they continue to stay successful world-wide.
Sam Walton the founder of Walmart actually owned a chain of stores in the 1950’s. In 1962, he decided that the consumers wanted a new type of store, after he traveled the country and studied everything he could about discount retailing. Sam and his wife Helen, put up 95% of the money to open the first Walmart which opened in Rogers, Arkansas. He wanted to offer his customers a wide assortment of quality products, the lowest possible prices, guaranteed satisfaction, knowledgable service, convenient hours; and a pleasant shopping experience.And in five years from then there were 24 Walmart stores in Arkansas. And by 1968, he hired Walmart’s first Aviation’s full-pilot, who helped Sam Walton open stores in Missouri and Oklahoma. In 1969, Walmart officially became incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
In the 1970’s, Walmart opened the first distribution center, as well as a central office in Bentonville, Ark. Sam decided that if he can distribute his own merchandise to the stores it would save the companies money from hiring outside transportation. In this point of time, they also began selling shares over the counter to become a publicly held company. In 1977 Walmart now had about 125 stores, and had gained control of the Mohr-Value stores, also the company acquired the Hutchinson Shoe company and introduces the Walmart pharmacy, auto service ad jewelry divisions. By the end of the 70’s, Walmart had more than 276 stores, 21,000 employees and operated in 11 of the 50 states.
In the 1980’s, they opened the largest distribution center to date, which was in Palatine, Texas. They gained control over 92 Kuhn’s Big K stores and entered into 4 more states. In 1983, they entered into more states and opened the first Sam’s Club in Oklahoma, thye implemented the people greeters characteristic into the stores and the first 1 hour photo. That year is when they bought the Woolco stores also. By 1988 they were operating in 29 states. In the 1990, they entered into six more states, one in which was South Dakota. Around this time is when they purchased the McLane Company.
In 1991, Walmart went into the international market when it opened a retail store in Mexico City. They also opened into eight more states in the United States and acquired the Western Merchandisers, Inc. In 1991, Walmart introduces the “Sam’s American Choice” brand products. By 1992, they were operating in 45 states and also in Puerto Rico. Throughout the rest of the decade, Walmart still flourished by acquiring 91 Pace Warehouse Clubs, 122 Woolco stores in Canada. They opened three value clubs in Hong Kong, had stores in all 50 states. They also built three units in Argentina, five in Brazil and entered into China through a joint agreement.
By the end of the 90’s, Walmart entered into more countries by purchasing Wertkauf units in Germany and entering into a joint-venture agreement to operate in Korea. They also acquired 71 Interspar units in Germany and acquired the ASDA Group plc in the United Kingdom.
In the 2000’s, Walmart currently serves 176 million weekly customers in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
They continue to offer the wide variety of assortment, at the lowest possible prices, they implement those characteristics into each and every store, no matter where they are located. Walmart also continues to look for ways to save the customers money. They recently did this by expanding its successful $4 generic prescription drug program.2008 is the 25 th Anniversary for the Sam’s Club, which operates in more than 590 locations nationwide and more than 100 locations internationally.
Costco was founded by James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman in 1983, when they opened their first warehouse in Seattle, Washington. Sinegal started in retailing by working for Sol Price at Fedmart and Price Club. Brotman was an attorney that came from a retailing family, so he had been involved in it since and early age.
In 1993 Costco merged with Price Club, which was called Club Price in the Canadian province of Quebec. Costco’s business model and size were similar to those of Price Club. When they merged they became PriceCostco, they had 206 locations. The very first Price Club was a old airplane hangar and is still in operation today in San Diego. In 1997 the company again changed their name , at this time they became Costco Wholesale.
The Costco philosophy is to sell products at low prices, in very high volume. They market large families and businesses. They do not carry multiple brands or varieties, unless when it has a house brand to sell, which is typically under the Kirkland Signature label. It allows Costco to buy from a single vendor, which allows them to lower their prices, and lower their marketing costs. They do not stock extra bags or packaging material. The customers bring their own bags or merchandise shipping boxes which saves them money.
You have to be a member to shop at Costco. Customers have to buy a $50 membership per year, which can be upgraded to a Executive membership for an additional $50 per year. The membership comes with benefits such as car purchasing savings, home loans, car insurance, check printing services, and also receive a 2% Rewards check annually. (Up to $500.00 )
Costco also offers a website where you do not have to acquire a membership in order to purchase items. They do add a 5% surcharge for non-members. This is another part of their retail strategy, to make a profit and be successful.
Costco only accepts the American Express credit card because they do not charge them retailer fees. They also do not accept checks from the member’s guests, so they are ensured to be paid. Everything they do is to save money to allow them to keep their quality merchandise at low prices.
Costco also acts as an investment broker and travel agent for their members. They have also introduced an automobile purchasing program, this allows members to purchase new cars at specially arranged prices. With all that Costco does for their members, it is no wonder they are one of the most successful retailers.
Safeway was founded by Sam Seelig in 1912, they opened a single grocery store which was located in Los Angeles. By 1922, the chain had grown to 71 stores. In 1924, Sam Seelig left the company to enter into real estate. When he left the company, they decided to hold a contest, which was in 1925, the contest was to develop a new name for the chain. The result was Safeway, the slogan was “Drive the Safeway; Buy the Safeway.” And by 1926 they now had 322 stores in Southern California.
Safeway merged with Merrill Lynch that same year, they now had 673 stores from Skaggs United Stores of Idaho and Skaggs Cash Stores of California. It immediately became the largest chain of grocery stores west of the Mississippi.
They continued to acquire numerous regional grocery store chains. Such chains as the Piggly Wiggly, H.G. Chaffee of Southern California, MacMarr, National Grocery, Pay’n Takkit stores, Newway, Sun Grocery, Bird Stores. This left them with a total of of 3, 527 in 1931, which was their peak.
Their international growth had also began as early as 1929 when they expanded into Canada by buying nine stores which became Canada Safeway.
In 1962 they purchased 11 stores which became Safeway plc, and in Australia in 1963, when they purchased the Pratt Supermarkets, which became Safeway Australia.
In 1964, they went into Germany by buying to Big Bear stores. They also expanded into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait when they went into a licensing and management agreement with Tamimi Group in the 1980’s. That same year they acquired the 31-store Jack the Slasher in Queensland, Australia. Then in 1981 acquired 49% of the Casa Ley Mexican retailer.
By having the capital and ability to purchase chains, this has made Safeway successful. They have adopted Lucerne brand as their signature brand. They offer several other amenities such as coffee shops, bakery’s, flower departments, Fresh bakery selections and pharmacies in their stores, which has also helped in their success.
Tesco is an international grocery and general merchandising retail chain. It originally specialized in food and drink, it has now diversified into areas such as clothing, electronics, financial services, DVD and CD retailing and renting. They retail music downloads, Internet service, consumer telecoms, health insurance, dental plans and software.
Tesco was founded by Jack Cohen in 1919, when he sold suplus groceries from a stall in the east end of London. The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924. The name came about after he purchased a shipment of tea from T.E. Stockwell. He made new labels using the first three letters of the suppliers name and the first two letters of his surname, forming the word “TESCO”.
The first Tesco store opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, Middlesex. The first self service store opened in St. Albans in 1947, which is still operational as a Metro. And the first supermarket opened in Maldon in 1956.
During the 50’ and 60’s, Tesco grew until it owned more than 800 stores.
Cohen thrived on the philosophy “ pile it high, sell it cheap”. This philosophy did not work so well, so when Cohen left the company. The new management launched “operation checkout”. They reduced prices and centralized the buying for all the stores and their market share rose 4% in two months.
In the 1980’s, Tesco took over of the Hillards chain (40 supermarkets) in the North of England.
In the 1990’s, they continued to flourish and continued to purchase supermarket chains. They purchased William Low, which allowed them to expand into Scotland.
In 1995, Tesco introduced a loyalty card, branded Clubcard, and later even introduced a internet shopping service. As of 2006, Tesco was the only food retailer to make online shopping profitable.
In 1997, they announced that they were purchasing British Foods, which was associated with the Quinnsworth, Stewarts, and Crazy Prices that were chains in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. That same year, Tesco and Esso (part of Exxon mobile) forged a business alliance, and Tesco began their express marts. They now have over 600 Tesco/Esso stores that can be found across the United Kingdom
In July, 2001 it became involved in the internet grocery retailing in the USA, because they at attained Grocery Works. In 2002, they purchased 13 hypermarkets in Poland and also made a major move in the UK convenience store market when they purchased T & S Stores, which owned 870 more convenience stores.
In 2003, they launched a UK telecom division, which consisted of home phone service and mobile phone services. Also, they purchased the C Two-Network in Japan. While continuing to expand they purchased Kipa in Turkey, Adminstore in London, and even launched a broadcast service. In 2005, they even bought the remaining Safeway/BP after they dissolved their partnership.
2007 was a great year for expansion, Tesco joined forces with O2 in Ireland to form Tesco Mobile.
Tesco has been successful due to the fact that they do use their own brand products, and they are mid-range brands at low-prices. Tesco offers several product categories such as food, beverage, home, clothing, Tesco Mobile, and financial services where they implement “Value” into. They had the ability to purchase large chains which allowed them to encompass a vast area of land to serve a area of customers.