Hi-School Pharmacy operating small drug stores

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Super S
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Hi-School Pharmacy operating small drug stores

Post by Super S »

I drove by L.J.'s Furness Drug in Kelso, WA (which is pretty much a traditional corner drug store) a few days ago and noticed that the store appeared to be undergoing a remodel/reset of some sort as there was inside painting going on and new murals on some of the windows. I also noticed a Hi-School Pharmacy van parked on the street out front. Out of curiosity, I visited their website to see their locations. Furness Drug was listed, as was Cathlamet Pharmacy and several other independents. I am curious if Hi-School Pharmacy actually owns these or if it's some kind of franchise setup. (I have not seen a news story about this in the local paper) I find this interesting as some time ago they sold off a big chunk of their locations (mainly Clark County, WA) to Walgreens, but have continued to operate hardware stores in Clark County, and have kept their stores open in other small communities, some of which also compete with Walgreens and Rite Aid among other large chains.

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Re: Hi-School Pharmacy operating small drug stores

Post by storewanderer »

There is a drug store in Rogue River, OR that is also a Hi-School Pharmacy but not flagged as such. They had some signs inside and policy notices posted that said Hi-School Pharmacy at checkout, so I assumed it was a corporate operated store. As I recall the employee had no uniform/name badge with a store name and the bags used also did not have any store name. The POS system was very old, swipe only credit cards and a pinpad that was at least 15 years old. They seemed to be on the same buying network as Bartell for front end products.

Dollar General entry into smaller markets will be a big problem for this operator's front end business.

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Re: Hi-School Pharmacy operating small drug stores

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storewanderer wrote: November 3rd, 2020, 6:29 pm There is a drug store in Rogue River, OR that is also a Hi-School Pharmacy but not flagged as such. They had some signs inside and policy notices posted that said Hi-School Pharmacy at checkout, so I assumed it was a corporate operated store. As I recall the employee had no uniform/name badge with a store name and the bags used also did not have any store name. The POS system was very old, swipe only credit cards and a pinpad that was at least 15 years old. They seemed to be on the same buying network as Bartell for front end products.

Dollar General entry into smaller markets will be a big problem for this operator's front end business.
I actually have not been inside Furness in many years, so I can't comment on things like checkout. The Hi-School stores I am familiar with are the former locations in Clark County which were larger and usually also had a True Value or Ace hardware department and decent variety. Some locations more or less still exist today with a wall between the current hardware store and Walgreens. At least two locations have reverted back to Hi-School stores, there is one that is their traditional format in the Minnehaha area of Vancouver, as well as one they operated that became a Walgreens (which built a new store nearby) that is now a hardware only store in Salmon Creek. Furness is physically too small to support the larger format though and is pretty much the only independent drugstore left in Longview-Kelso.

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Re: Hi-School Pharmacy operating small drug stores

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: November 4th, 2020, 7:30 am
I actually have not been inside Furness in many years, so I can't comment on things like checkout. The Hi-School stores I am familiar with are the former locations in Clark County which were larger and usually also had a True Value or Ace hardware department and decent variety. Some locations more or less still exist today with a wall between the current hardware store and Walgreens. At least two locations have reverted back to Hi-School stores, there is one that is their traditional format in the Minnehaha area of Vancouver, as well as one they operated that became a Walgreens (which built a new store nearby) that is now a hardware only store in Salmon Creek. Furness is physically too small to support the larger format though and is pretty much the only independent drugstore left in Longview-Kelso.
The Rogue River store did not have a formal hardware store attached but it had a few aisles of such items. It did have a formal sporting goods department complete with guns and ammo. The rest of the store did have depth in the drug category but had a lot more house items as well, really a variety store like you describe. It reminded me a lot of some of the locations of the old Longs chain in CA.

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