Published October 21, 2008
Volume 16, Number 10

Walgreens Chooses Hacienda for New District Headquarters
Park Managers Oversee Stores from East Bay to Central Valley

Walgreens district managers Gorman Moy, Linda De Fronzo, and
Dan Kidson.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Even though most of their time is spent out in the field, life for the three district managers responsible for more than 100 Walgreens stores from Modesto to Vallejo is a lot more convenient since the company opened a new 10,000-square foot district office on Hacienda Drive last month. The managers were previously based in San Mateo, sharing space with their counterparts who manage properties on the west side of the bay.

"Now our managers can be closer to the stores they oversee," says Tiffani Bruce, Manager, Media Relations at Walgreens corporate headquarters outside Chicago. "The Bay Area is already a strong market for Walgreens, and it continues to grow. With that comes the need for more office space. We chose Hacienda as a convenient and well-suited location to meet the needs of our staff."

Walgreens' trajectory of growth has indeed been moving steadily upward. In its just-completed FY 2008, the company reported $59 billion in sales and $2.16 billion in net earnings, the 34th consecutive year of record performance. These are big numbers from a chain of 6,400-plus stores that sprang from a 100-square foot neighborhood drugstore founded by the hard-working Charles Walgreen on the south side of Chicago in 1901.

Walgreen wasn't just ambitious; he was keenly attuned to the tastes of his customers, crafting many of the creative marketing strategies that allowed his company to expand to 525 stores in major markets from New York to Florida by 1929. He transformed the classic drugstore soda fountain from a seasonal attraction to a thriving food-service counter that was busy all year long (with his wife, Myrtle, initially preparing the food). Walgreens introduced the first malted milkshake, was the first drugstore chain to advertise on the radio, and among the first to adopt the self-service retail concept in all it stores.

The same kind of market sensitivity continues today. The chain is the largest private user of satellite technology, second only to the U. S. government, according to its web site. Its computer system for filling prescriptions, Intercom Plus, links all stores into a single network, which makes billing, labeling, and prescription histories available more quickly and easily than ever before.

Walgreens also relies on its advanced technology backbone to deliver the latest in photo processing services. Customers can upload digital image files from their home computer and pick up prints at any store location chain wide.

The emphasis on technology has not eclipsed attention to the in-store experience. During special events like the monthly SaturDate™  with Beauty promotion, a trained beauty advisor is stationed in every cosmetics department to introduce new products and offer free samples and special savings. (The next scheduled SaturDates are November 8 and December 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)    

Along with the locally based managers, each district has six or seven support staff. At Hacienda, this includes supervisors for the pharmacy, cosmetics, and photo departments; loss prevention specialists; employee trainers; and at least one administrative assistant.

For more information about the company, its stores, and area locations, visit www.walgreens.com.


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