Walgreens Rival Pounces During Strike
Chicago, Rival drug-dispenser Jewel-Osco decided to strike while the iron was hot. After labor problems led to a strike by some 400 Chicago-area Walgreens pharmacists last night, the Albertson’s Inc.-owned chain of 200+ Osco drug stores in Chicago launched a print advertising campaign, luring Walgreens prescription-holders to move their business to Osco.
Walgreens has enjoyed a 54% market share in the Chicago area; Albertson’s share is about 30%.
1,200 Walgreen Pharmacists May Strike
Chicago, About 1,200 Walgreen Co. pharmacists are set to go on strike at about 400 stores in the Chicago area after the company’s refusal to hear their concerns over staffing shortages and working conditions, according to union officials. Workers at stores in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana plan to go on strike at 10 p.m. today, according to a statement issued by the National Pharmacists Association union.
In the most recent offer, the Walgreen said it would increase pharmacist pay by 20% to more than $100,000 a year, plus benefits, for a 40-hour workweek, according to a Walgreen spokesman. However the union rejected the proposal, citing “insufficient staffing,” including a shortage of trained technicians, rather than pay, as its main concerns.
Longs Drug Plans New DC
Walnut Creek, Calif., Longs Drug Stores will build a new 800,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Patterson, Calif. The new facility will support the company’s goal to raise its self-distribution of front-end merchandise to 80% in 2007 from its 40% today.
Longs will invest $50 million to $55 million in the facility to open by fall 2006. Eventually, the facility will absorb the front-end merchandise distribution currently handled by the retailer’s 427,000-sq.-ft. Lathrop, Calif., distribution center.