Charles R. Walgreen, Sr. in 1901 started a neighborhood drugstore. Walgreen a Pharmacist living in Illinois, had an entrepreneurial view of the then drugstore. Walgreen had to start his own drugstore, “The store, however, was struggling. Dim, poorly merchandised and unwelcoming, it presented Walgreen with the first real challenge to his ideas on store layout, selection, service and pricing.” Walgreen wanted to make the store inviting, pleasant and service satisfying for the customer. To enhance customer satisfaction Walgreen introduce what they call the “two minute drill”, “Whenever a customer in the immediate area telephoned with an order for non-prescription items, Walgreen always repeated – loudly and slowly – the caller’s name, address and items ordered.” This became efficient for Walgreens’s because the people processing the orders could accurately and quickly provide service to their customers. Walgreen’s was able to provide better goods and services than its competition, which lead to it being the largest Pharmacy drugstore in America.
Walgreens is an every growing company, with over 240,000 employees and thousands of stores. The American dominance of Walgreens is leading the company to expand across borders and into Europe. A deal made with a very well-known pharmacy providing company in Europe, Alliance Boots. This is will apparently be the world’s first global pharmacy store. According to MSN money, “Walgreen will spend $6.7 billion in cash and stock to buy a 45% stake in the European company.” Walgreens is a very large company that still seems to have growth opportunity, with expansion into uncharted waters. This can be a very strategic move for the company. But was are the costs and operation issues need to be the number one priority. Walgreens is going to have to begin to understand the new markets they will be entering. This challenge might be averted with the help of their partnership with a company already well-established in the market, will help improve operations. Ethical issues will also need to be taken into account, like what are the laws in said country. Not just ethical but cultural issues also need be taken into consideration. Walgreens will most likely have the same mission statement, but the strategy is going to change and the developmental process needs to be implemented. This is a very bold move more Walgreens and not being prepared and understanding the size of operations that they will endure is something they have not seen yet. Being prepared for globalization and increasing its supply chain outside the U.S. will have great impacts on markets all over the world.
What do you think are important factors for the globalization of Walgreens’s supply chain?