Brand Watch: Walgreens

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Fresh off the heels of the announcement it would purchase Rite Aid Corp for $9.4 billion, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the parent company of U.K.-based drugstores Boots and U.S.-based Walgreens, maintains the acquisition is not a power play.

“We are accelerating a long-term objective we knew we needed to address: to strengthen our presence and coverage across the US,” CEO Stefano Pessina told The Wall Street Journal.

With this transaction, Walgreens may soon quite literally be “at everyCorner of Happy & Healthy.” Though in purchasing Rite Aid Corp, the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain (CVS comes in second only to Walgreens) Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. will face antitrust regulation and may likely need to divest some stores.

Will the acquisition have ripple effects on our media economy? We turned to our sources for all the need-to-know stats and figures on Walgreens and Rite Aid.

  1. In 2014, Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens spent $238 million in national measured media, significantly higher than closest competitor CVS.   
  1. OMD won Walgreens’ $240 million account in a 2013 agency review. MARC USAis Rite Aid’s AOR, handling both creative and media in that capacity.
  1. Both Walgreens and Rite Aid dedicated a significant percentage of 2014 total spend to legacy, traditional media with a sizable portion to newspaper

Do mom and pop drugstores still stand a chance? Will ad dollars be redistributed as the companies combine? More to come…

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