[July 25, 2014] In the late 1950s when our family traveled to a big southern city (population 10,000) to go shopping, there were two places we always went. We never missed a trip to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and to Walgreens. I remember two things about each one. First, they each had air conditioning. Second, the workers were very helpful to my parents and kind to us kids.
Started in 1901, the Walgreen Company (Walgreens) is the largest drug retailing chain in the United States. Although pharmaceuticals are its main business, the company is not limited to those items. Interestingly, during prohibition in the 1920s, Walgreens made a good business from prescription whiskey. Around this time they also introduced a malted milkshake. The company was innovative and willing to try out new ideas.
Company core values are1:
- Honesty, trust, and integritywith customers, shareholders, suppliers, the communities they serve, and among themselves.
- Quality through consistent and reliable service, advice, and products across every touchpoint and channel.
- Caring, compassionate and drivento delivering a great customer and patient experience through outstanding service and a desire for healthy outcomes.
- A strong community commitment and presencebuilt through service, expertise, and the personal engagement of every Walgreen team member.
Through strong leadership, the right core values, and management willingness to try new things, the company has been a success story. For example, earlier this year it was listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies, ranking fifth among food and drugstores. Yet, it’s the pattern of success that is deserving of our praise.
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 The Walgreens Creed (source: http://www.walgreens.com/topic/about/creed.jsp)
- We believe in the goods we merchandise, in ourselves and in our ability to render satisfaction.
- We believe that honest goods can be sold to honest people by honest methods.
- We believe in working, not waiting; in laughing, not weeping; in boosting, not knocking; and in the pleasure of selling our products.
- We believe that we can get what we go after, and that we are not down and out until we have lost faith in ourselves.
- We believe in today and the work we are doing, in tomorrow and the work we hope to do, and in the sure reward the future holds.
- We believe in courtesy, in kindness, in generosity, in cheer, in friendship, and in honest competition.
- Walgreens is still working to do things this way even in the Internet age.