business news in context, analysis with attitude

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson plans to channel McDonald’s as he grows the drug store chain – he wants to slow down unit growth while reinvesting in existing stores in a way that makes them more relevant to shoppers.

According to the story, “Walgreen is scrubbing down stores, as McDonald's did. Based on feedback from consumer focus groups, Mr. Wasson is changing layouts to make shopping more convenient. And he's reducing the selection of items stocked in stores, on the theory that offering too many choices frustrates customers and creates clutter. He's retooled advertising to emphasize basics like soda pop and paper towels.”

And, while Walgreen ants to increase the number of in-store health clinics that it operates, Wasson says he has no intention of following the path of rival CVS, which bought a pharmacy benefits management company and is integrating its operations into the overall company.
KC's View: