Walgreens is the second-largest pharmacy retailer in the US, with 9,277 stores across all 50 states.
CVS has consistently been Walgreens’ biggest competition, although in recent years Amazon has posed more and more of a threat.
If you want historical facts about the chain as well as the latest insights into how Walgreens is doing today, this article contains everything you need to know.
5 Key Walgreens Statistics, Facts, And Trends
- Walgreens employs more than 85,000 healthcare service providers in the US alone.
- There are 18 Walgreens distribution centers servicing more than 9,200 stores in 50 states.
- 78% of US residents live within just five miles of a Walgreens store.
- Walgreens recently introduced home delivery, available from more than 7,000 of its locations.
- Walgreens interacts with around 8,000,000 customers every day.
23 Walgreens Statistics, Facts, And Trends
Walgreens History Statistics
Walgreens started out as a tiny store in Chicago, Illinois. Here’s how its foundations paved the way for enduring success.
1. The First Walgreens Store
With the experience of working in pharmaceuticals as a teenager, Charles R. Walgreen, Sr. founded the first Walgreens drugstore in 1901. It measured only 50 feet by 20 feet and sold food, too.
In its first eight years of business, what we know as Walgreens today operated out of this single, small store. It wasn’t until 1909 that the second Walgreens store opened for business.
Once the second Walgreens drugstore was established, expansion really started to pick up. Another decade after 1909, there were 20 Walgreens locations in different residential areas of Illinois.
3. Prohibition-Era Success
The prohibition era of the 1920s was a successful time for Walgreens since the chain was able to legally sell prescription whiskey for medicinal purposes.
As a result, the chain’s growth accelerated rapidly. By 1930, Walgreens had annual sales of around $4,000,000 and, by 1934, there were 601 stores in 30 states.
4. The Walgreens Malted Milkshake
1922 brought with it the invention of one of the mainstays of Walgreens’ success: its malted milkshake. Invented by Walgreens employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson, two generous scoops of vanilla ice cream were added to the store’s original malted milkshake recipe, and the drink became an instant classic.
This led to Walgreens establishing its own ice cream manufacturing plants. However, since 1993, Schoep’s has been the sole producer of Walgreens’ ice cream.
Walgreens Market Share Statistics
Most US residents live near Walgreens. But exactly how much of the market share does Walgreens have?
5. Walgreens’ Year-On-Year Growth
Walgreens’ gross revenue saw an uptick from $139 billion in 2019 to $141.7 billion in 2020.
This growth was driven primarily by pharmaceutical sales, which have more than doubled since 2016. And, pharmacy revenues are expected to keep on growing, with a 14% boom predicted to occur over the next three years.
6. Walgreens’ Retail Losses
As pharmaceutical sales have exploded, the sale of retail products in Walgreens’ stores has declined by around a billion.
But, in spite of the poor performance of Walgreens’ retail segment, it seems the chain will stay in the retail business moving forwards.
This is because the company’s integrated business model helps to make shopping at Walgreens a more convenient prospect for its customers.
7. Walgreens In Walking Distance
Walgreens isn’t just convenient because of the products it sells, but also because of its proximity. The chain has locations in all 50 states, and 78% of the US population lives within just five miles of a Walgreens store.
8. Store Closures
Like many other retailers in America, Walgreens has struggled recently in the face of increased online competition and the coronavirus crisis. As such, Walgreens has had to permanently close hundreds of its stores.
In 2019, it was announced that 200 Walgreens locations would permanently close down. This was in addition to 750 store closures that had previously been announced to help cut costs.
Walgreens Logistic Statistics
With so many locations across the country, Walgreens’ shipping and delivery network have a lot to contend with. Here’s how the chain meets the demand of its customers nationwide.
9. Walgreens Distribution Centers
There are 18 Walgreens distribution centers in states across the country. However, Illinois (which is the home of Walgreens) has the most, with one in Bolingbrook, one in Edwardsville, and another in Mount Vernon.
10. What Day Do Walgreens Get Shipments?
Walgreens does what it can to streamline its distribution efforts. So, most Walgreens stores get between one and two shipments per week. However, the exact frequency will vary depending on the demand of different stores.
Walgreens Worldwide Operation Statistics
The success that Walgreens enjoys isn’t just confined to the US. Read on to find out which countries have Walgreens stores and how well they do.
11. Walgreens’ International Operations
Walgreens is part of a wider, global operation called the Walgreens Boots Alliance. The group’s retail pharmacy division has an incredible 4,428 retail stores in eight countries outside of the US.
After the US, the international location with the most Walgreens Boots Alliance is the United Kingdom, which has 2,336 Boots stores.
12. The Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Global Presence
In addition to the Walgreens Boots Alliance’s own stores, there are several more companies in which the group has equity method investments.
These enable the group to expand its offerings and healthcare solutions even further, so that, in total, they have a presence in more than 25 countries and employ around 450,000 people.
13. Walgreens’ Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division
The pharmaceutical wholesale division of the Walgreens Boots Alliance supplies healthcare products and services, including medicines, to more than 115,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers, and hospitals each year.
Sometimes known as Alliance Healthcare, it operates out of 306 distribution centers in 11 countries.
14. Walgreens’ Own Product Brands
Amongst the merchandise and medicines sold globally by the Walgreens Boots Alliance is the group’s own product brands.
Including generic medicine brands, Almus, and skincare brands such as YourGoodSkin and Liz Earle, many of the group’s own products are highly regarded and widely shopped.
Walgreens Employee Statistics And Facts
Thousands of people work for Walgreens across the world. These stats give a glimpse into what it’s like.
15. Healthcare Service Providers
In the US, Walgreens employs more than 85,000 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare service providers.
The number gets much bigger when you take into account the business’ international operations, and bigger still if you include its equity method investments.
16. Walgreens Wages Vs Employee Reviews
The Walgreens minimum wage starts at around $10.13 per hour. While this is higher than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, it is still 7% below the national average for a customer service job.
Regardless, Walgreens is seen by many as a decent place to work, earning an average of three stars out of five in categories including culture, work-life balance, and job advancement.
17. Employee Benefits
Employees get access to a range of benefits, such as employee discounts, paid time off, and the opportunity to buy stocks in the company. Some salaried Walgreens employees are also eligible for company-paid life insurance.
Challenges Walgreens Has Faced
It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Walgreens. Here’s some information on the challenges the chain faces.
18. Competition From Amazon
Amazon’s newly-launched online pharmacy has put pressure on leading pharmaceutical retail brands, Walgreens included. And, as more shoppers opt to order their medications online as a result of the coronavirus crisis, Amazon looks poised to take market share.
19. Outdated Stores
Recent years have seen Walgreens struggling for foot traffic. The problem has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
However, rather than invest in new technologies that would make in-store pick-up more efficient and, therefore, more attractive, Walgreens has instead relied on customers making retail purchases when picking up prescriptions. As such, the stores have become outdated.
Walgreens Emerging Market Trends And Statistics
This is all you need to know about how Walgreens is expanding and improving its operations.
22. Home Delivery
Since partnering with delivery service Postmates during the Covid-19 pandemic, Walgreens has been delivering medications to customers at home. Although the service is not currently available in all locations, 7,000 stores already offer the service.
23. Investments In Innovation
As mentioned above, Walgreens has come under fire for offering an outdated in-store experience. So, the Walgreens Boots Alliance has more recently made a major investment in iA, a leading provider of software-enabled pharmacy automation solutions.
We can, therefore, expect to see an improvement in the efficiency of medication dispensations in Walgreens’ stores in the coming years.
To learn more, you can also see our posts on Walgreens shoplifting policy, the Walgreens bereavement policy, Walgreens headquarters, Walgreens complaints, and why Walgreens and CVS are always located together.
Despite store closures and criticism, Walgreens remains the second-largest pharmaceutical retailer in the US right now. And, with new investments in the future of its more than 9,000 stores, it would appear Walgreens plans to retain its market share. However, the threat posed by Amazon looks set to undermine progress.