Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Jesus Is Back!

Well, at least that's what the tabloid I saw at CVS/pharmacy this morning said. To the tabloids, Jesus is the ultimate celebrity, even bigger than the Beatles.

I am so happy to see CVS gaining a foothold in Chicago, where there is a Walgreens on every other block. Why? Because Walgreens stinks. It is the only store where I have to carry around the weekly flyer to know what is on sale. In this respect, they have improved slightly in the past few years--now they mark perhaps 60% of the sale items, whereas they used to mark 5%. Even if the sale item is marked, however, the shelf is probably empty. A friend owns Walgreens stock, and he raves about what a great company it is and how well they manage inventory. I don't know what he buys there, but his shopping list can't be the same as mine. When I enter a Walgreens, the odds are 50-50 that I won't find anything, even when there are several sale items on my list. If it's on sale, you'd better be there on Sunday morning or it will be sold out, and they rarely restock sale items during the week. Sometimes I'll find one thing and get so irritated about not finding anything else that I put the first item back and walk out.

I have none of these problems at CVS. The sales are labeled, the shelves are nearly always full, the environment is more comfortable (carpet, what a concept), the employees are friendlier (almost to a fault--sometimes I am greeted by three or four people in one visit), and to top it off, they sell Diet Rite for thirty cents less per 20-ounce bottle than White Hen Pantry. Walgreens doesn't even have an empty shelf for Diet Rite. If Jesus really is back, then maybe Walgreens should hire him. They need help.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

My beef with Walgreens, not that you didn't cover some valid issues, is the huge markup they do on brand name over the counter drugs. When you compare the brand name to the Walgreens brand, their brand looks great. However their brand isn't much less expensive than a reasonbly priced brand name. Holy switcheroo!

CLAIR LEAVITT said...

wHAT DO THEY SELL. IN UTAH THEY ARE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE. THERE INVENTORY IS VERY STRANGE. I DON'T SEE ANY ITEMS THAT ARE UNIQUE EXCEPT THEIR NAME BRAND STUFF. THEY ARE A LOT HIGHER PRICED THAN OTHERS AND EVEN IF THEY ARE OPEN 24 HOURS IN SOME LOCATIONS, SO IS WALMART WHICH IS FAR MORE COMPETITIVE. THEY HAVE TO BE A GIANT TAX SHELTER FOR SOMEONE SOMEHOW.

David Johnsen said...

Clair, are you asking about CVS? It's just a typical pharmacy/drug store. Their inventory isn't unique, but neither is anyone else's in that sector of retail. CVS has good prices on sale items, but regular prices are nothing special. I can't comment on the pharmacy side because I don't have any prescriptions. My overall opinion of CVS has diminished a bit since my original post seven months ago (some out-of-stock sale items), but I still like them better than Walgreen's. As for Wal-Mart, I refuse to shop there anymore. They just do too many things (i.e., business practices) that bother me.