They rule the roost, at least when it comes to the world of mass retail.
A generation or two ago, retail was controlled by a completely different set of merchants. Sears and Kmart dominated the mass retail world, and The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and Safeway were the big players in supermarkets. Among drug stores, there were seemingly dozens of regional players, all content to dominate a couple of different metropolitan areas.
The Internet? No one could even dream what that would become.
Today, retail looks completely different. Sears and Kmart merged and just barely are holding on. A&P is gone and, while Safeway is still around, it is now integrated into Albertsons’ wide and growing store base. Now Walmart, a once regional player in the south central part of the country, is the national leader, followed by Target and Costco. Two national drug store chains, Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy, dominate that marketplace — though they also seem to be direct competitors of the remaining major supermarket chains, not to mention the aforementioned Walmart, Target and Costco. In the pharmacy space, independent pharmacies, many of which are collected under banners linked to distributors, are holding onto their piece of the pie.
As for the Internet, let’s just say that Amazon has done a number on the traditional retail model over the last decade, and all signs suggest it’s poised to do the same to pharmacy.
To help the industry know more about the state of retail, DSN has compiled a list of the 20 most influential retailers today.