Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Super S
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by Super S »

I have only been to a Bartell store a couple times as they do not operate outside of the Seattle metro area. Their stores were a bit nicer than any chain drugstore.

It is sad though that one of the only regional chains still left is selling....there was a lot more variety in the stores when the regional chains were still around.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:29 pm I have only been to a Bartell store a couple times as they do not operate outside of the Seattle metro area. Their stores were a bit nicer than any chain drugstore.

It is sad though that one of the only regional chains still left is selling....there was a lot more variety in the stores when the regional chains were still around.
Bartell maintained a nice variety of items in their stores. I am not sure who they bought through, but it seemed to be the same buying network that Hi School Pharmacy uses for drug front end merchandise. The front ends at Bartell were a lot more refined than Hi School Pharmacy runs but when you got down to the OTC Drug, Health and Beauty, etc. categories what they were selling was basically the same stuff and similar merchandising plan. Bartell had a better variety of "healthy food" but I'm not sure how well it sold.

Go up to Vancouver and visit London Drugs- great stores, great variety.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by babs »

Bartells has been approached for buyout many times over the years and the family never wanted to sell out. They must have had a significant decrease in sales and or profitability.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by storewanderer »

babs wrote: October 9th, 2020, 11:10 pm Bartells has been approached for buyout many times over the years and the family never wanted to sell out. They must have had a significant decrease in sales and or profitability.
Something has gone absolutely rotten in the pharmacy business over the past few years to force so many small regional chains (and even Target) out of the pharmacy business.

For as little as Rite Aid paid I think Bartell was on the ropes.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by pseudo3d »

storewanderer wrote: October 9th, 2020, 11:44 pm
babs wrote: October 9th, 2020, 11:10 pm Bartells has been approached for buyout many times over the years and the family never wanted to sell out. They must have had a significant decrease in sales and or profitability.
Something has gone absolutely rotten in the pharmacy business over the past few years to force so many small regional chains (and even Target) out of the pharmacy business.

For as little as Rite Aid paid I think Bartell was on the ropes.
Not the money-maker it used to be to be sure, but I still think getting rid of pharmacy is done more on finances and where the chain wants to go. Target in particular has its own idea of what it wants to be (what exactly it is I'm not sure) and the only other examples I can think of are for other reasons (Stater Bros.' pharmacies sound like they never really took off, and Schnucks sounds like they're having some financial problems).

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by Alpha8472 »

Just in the past few years pharmacy costs have gone up and the reimbursements from insurance companies have been cut. The profits have gone down. The bean counters from the corporate offices have targeted pharmacies for their labor cost and have started targeting pharmacies to reduce costs. Pharmacy hours have been cut, pharmacy employees have had their work hours cut, older pharmacists are being let go in order to hire cheaper pharmacists at a lower pay rate, etc.

Insurance companies are trying to get customers to switch to cheaper mail order. In order to do that some insurances have limited customers to a 30 day supply of drugs in stores, while mail order allows a 90 day supply for the same copay.

It is all about insurance companies trying to kill off instore pharmacies and promote cheaper mail order pharmacies to increase profits.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by buckguy »

Bartell was a much classier operation than Marc's or Discount Drug Mart. Their store upgrades the past 10-15 years were quite good. They seemed to be located in all of the right spots.

There is also Kinney Drug up in NY. There are still a few regional drugstore chains lingering around.
[/quote]

You kindof miss the point. I don't know if I've seen a "classy" drug store operation outside of the upscale compounders. I'm not suggesting that Bartell needed to become like Marcs or Drug Mart---they probably would need to become something different than they are now (and I've been to Bartell's although not recently). Marc's is an interesting example--it began as "Bernie Shulman's", the first "warehouse"-type drug store. Shulman was a founder of Revco, which began as an alternative to the drug stores that sold a little of everything and had soda fountains. They emphasized prescriptions and maintained the lowest prices around and otherwise sold a very focused health and beauty inventory in relatively small stores. When Shulman came out of retirement, he opened a store that was larger than a typical drug store (it was in a former supermarket of about 25Ksf) and the pricing was based on going for manufacturer deals and adding a standard markup, with no credit cards, only cash. They also emphasized prescription volume and underpriced the competition, including Revco---this was 1975 when prescriptions were very profitable. Shulman died and his wife ran the chain before selling to Marc Gleiser who changed the name to Marcs and very gradually changed the model, adapting to a different market place.

Drug stores have always adapted. They were early possessors of refrigeration and freezers which is how they branched into ice cream (which they still sell) and soda fountains (which were killed off by fast food franchises). They were exempt from blue laws and often the only businesses reliably open in the evening, so they sold a bit of everything. It used to be possible to buy a tv at most chain drug stores. Sav-On in the LA area branched into building materials for a brief time in a few stores. Most of that stuff began to disappear in the 70s and 80s, although things like greeting cards and candy have stayed. Stores have gone in and out of the liquor business--Walgreen's was the cheapest place to buy liquor in Chicago, then they cut back and now they have more of it. Independents often went in other directions---selling a wide variety of medical equipment or serving as pharmacies for specialty hospitals and clinics. Drug stores have evolved and prescriptions haven't always been the main attraction, outside of true independents.

The chains have been consolidating for a long time--most of that happened in the 80s and 90s. When I lived in Atlanta, there were literally a handful of independents (basically compounders) and even big chains like Eckerd and Revco were absorbed by bigger chains. Consolidation is mostly complete.

My guess is that the youngest generation at Bartell's were a big part of pulling the plug. That's usually how this sort of thing ends. Older family who have invested decades will keep an underperforming family business going but once they retire there's no one willing to do that, or else they don't want to risk change or simply see no future; sometimes they never really worked in the business--you could see it in other areas of retail like some of the department store chains that were late to sell out to May, Federated or others.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by SamSpade »

buckguy wrote: October 13th, 2020, 6:58 pm My guess is that the youngest generation at Bartell's were a big part of pulling the plug. That's usually how this sort of thing ends. Older family who have invested decades will keep an underperforming family business going but once they retire there's no one willing to do that, or else they don't want to risk change or simply see no future; sometimes they never really worked in the business--you could see it in other areas of retail like some of the department store chains that were late to sell out to May, Federated or others.
This seemed to be what happened at King's Discount Stores in Idaho... of course, the major 2 chains of "Dollar" stores opening in their markets certainly didn't help, and their larger communities were already struck by WalMart.

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by submariner »

All,

Zero tolerance on politics. period. I have removed several posts related to off-topic and prohibited topic matter.

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