Buying a franchise of an already established business can be an excellent way to launch your own business instead of starting from scratch.
Since Walgreens is among the largest drugstore chains in the country, you may be wondering: is Walgreens a franchise business? Here is everything I’ve found out through Walgreens employees!
Is Walgreens A Franchise?
Walgreens is not a franchise but is instead a corporate-owned business. Therefore, you cannot buy a Walgreens franchise as the company decides where it wants to set up its stores. However, Walgreens does have a pharmacy acquisition program under which it buys and takes over pharmacy stores.
If you want to know more about buying a Walgreens franchise, how Walgreens acquires pharmacy stores, and much more, keep on reading!
Can You Buy A Walgreens Franchise?
According to several Walgreens employees, Walgreens does not give out franchises to independent owners and pharmacists.
It has over 9000+ stores all over the country, and all of these are corporate-owned, i.e., Walgreens owns and runs all of these themselves.
In states that have pharmacy laws regarding the franchising and corporate ownership of chains, such as North Dakota, the situation is different. The law prohibits chains from having full ownership of their pharmacy stores.
Instead, at least 50% of the store must be owned by a local pharmacist who is also supposed to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the store.
However, because of these laws, Walgreens has only one store in North Dakota that is leased out for hefty charges.
Why Can’t You Buy A Walgreens Franchise?
You cannot buy a Walgreens franchise because the stores are all corporate-owned. This means that the business model of Walgreens is such that there is no separate ownership of stores.
Instead, the shareholders of the company collectively own all the 9000+ stores in the U.S.
This allows Walgreens to dictate better how each store is run and maintain a standard of services at each store.
At the same time, the corporate owners enjoy all the profits generated by the stores. Therefore, the business model simply does not involve giving out franchises.
Does Walgreens Acquire Franchises?
Yes, Walgreens has a ‘Pharmacy Acquisition’ program under which it buys out individual or franchise pharmacy stores.
Its Pharmacy Acquisitions team works with the owners of the store to negotiate an offer with a new buyer (or with Walgreens itself).
It also helps the owners keep their customers and other local stakeholders on board throughout the entire process. Since 2010, Walgreens has been at the top of the list when it comes to the most number of pharmacies acquired.
Can You Buy a CVS or Rite Aid Franchise?
Since Walgreens does not give out franchises, you may be wondering whether CVS or Rite Aid offers franchises to individuals.
However, it turns out that CVS and Rite Aid are also corporate-owned and so do not give out franchises for the same reason as Walgreens.
For more information, you can also see my posts on whether Dollar General and Walmart are franchises, along with my post on why Walgreens is so expensive.
Conclusion: Is Walgreens A Franchise?
Walgreens is not a franchise business. Instead, it is a corporate-owned business, i.e., all stores are owned by the same group of shareholders.
Therefore, the company’s corporate management decides where it will set up stores and does not give out franchises. Other chains like CVS and Rite Aid also have the same business model.