Goodbye Eckerd (Rite Aid buys Eckerd and Brooks Drugs)

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rich
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Re: Goodbye Eckerd (Rite Aid buys Eckerd and Brooks Drugs)

Post by rich » 04 Jan 2010 21:15

Eckerd was several different chains, related by family: NW Penna, Delaware, & Florida. The Florida base was mismanaged for years (a friend of mine did HR work there) before and after JCP. The stores I remember from the late 80s/early 90s in Nashville were awful--terrible service, less than terrific pricing, lots of out-of-stocks. The Atlanta stores in knew in the last decade were similarly awful and had few customers.

Thrift was not in New England. They did have Brooks and Adams. The region was late to get combo supermarket-drug stores, but there wasn't the proliferation of chains that existed elsewhere.

Walgreen had East Coast stores in the NYC area for many years, but pulled out in the 70s.

Ephrata1966
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Re: Goodbye Eckerd (Rite Aid buys Eckerd and Brooks Drugs)

Post by Ephrata1966 » 04 Jan 2010 21:20

rich wrote:Eckerd was several different chains, related by family: NW Penna, Delaware, & Florida. The Florida base was mismanaged for years (a friend of mine did HR work there) before and after JCP. The stores I remember from the late 80s/early 90s in Nashville were awful--terrible service, less than terrific pricing, lots of out-of-stocks. The Atlanta stores in knew in the last decade were similarly awful and had few customers.

Thrift was not in New England. They did have Brooks and Adams. The region was late to get combo supermarket-drug stores, but there wasn't the proliferation of chains that existed elsewhere.

Walgreen had East Coast stores in the NYC area for many years, but pulled out in the 70s.
What do you mean, "several different chains"? I'm sorry, but that just sounds bizarre. I believe Fay's was in New England in addition to Brooks. They should have converted Brooks to Eckerd! For many years, Eckerd's logo actually read "Eckerd Drugs". Around 1995, they started building freestanding drive-thru stores.

What I am wondering is if any of the Eckerds I frequented in Houston were Thrift Drug.

carolinatraveler
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Re: Goodbye Eckerd (Rite Aid buys Eckerd and Brooks Drugs)

Post by carolinatraveler » 05 Jan 2010 22:19

Yes, Eckerd as it appeared in later years was actually the reassembly of several Eckerd chains, plus numerous purchases. IN 1898 Milton Eckerd opened his first "cut rate" drugstore in Erie, PA, and by all accounts it was a spectacular success. Other outlets were opened in the region, but when an opportunity presented itself in the 1910s, Eckerd sold the Erie operation to his sons and began again with a new cut rate chain in Wilmington, Delaware. In the 1920s, expanding from Delaware, the family opened stores in major North Carolina cities from a base in Charlotte. This operation was owned and managed by Eckerd son-in-law Ed O'Herron. They began opening shopping center stores in the 1950s, several of which survive into the Rite-Aid era (Thruway, W-S, NC, 1955). Youngest son Jack Eckerd noticed the self serve wave in the postwar era and opened a self serve Eckerd operation (branded QuikChek) in Erie in 1949. In 1952 he imported the concept to three stores he had purchased in the Tampa-St.Pete, FL area. In the 1960s in a series of mergers, Eckerd's northern operations were merged with the fast growing Florida chain. In 1974 Eckerd Florida and Eckerd NC were reunited in a merger that formed the modern company. Some of the northern operations were sold or closed, and growth was concentrated in the Sunbelt states.

Throughout the entire evolution of internal expansion, the various Eckerd operations had purchased competing companies to expand their footprint. However, the comment about Eckerd being "several different chains" I'm sure refers to the multiple Eckerd operations, which are no doubt confusing. Much of my research and writing has been about oil companies, and I have written multiple articles about the common origins but differents corporations that were Richfield Oil Company of California and Richfield Oil Company of New York. Likewise the various Standard operations are often a point of confusion. Relative to those corporate "families", Eckerds is actually fairly simple. For those of us from North Carolina, they will always be remembered for their elaborate downtown stores and first cleass shopping center locations, complete with coffee shops and more.

Wayne Henderson

krogerclerk
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Re: Goodbye Eckerd (Rite Aid buys Eckerd and Brooks Drugs)

Post by krogerclerk » 06 Jan 2010 10:36

The three Eckerd's were distinguished by the color of the signage. Red Eckerd for the Wilmington,DE/Charlotte, NC chain, Blue Eckerd for the Florida chain and Green Eckerd for the Erie, PA chain. I believe at the time of its disolution, the Erie chain was primarily in NE Ohio markets in which Revco was the dominant chain, along with PharMor, Marc's and several strong regionals.

At the time of the JCPenney buyout, Eckerd was primarily a "Sunbelt" chain. JCPenney's drug store holdings included Treasury Drug in the Atlanta area, Kerr Drugs in the Carolinas, Thrift Drug in Pennsylvania, Fay's in upstate New York and later Genovese Drugs in the NYC region. Treasury was divested to Revco, store swaps among Kerr and Eckerd and machinations with Rite Aid resulted in Kerr re-emerging as an independent regional, and Thrifty, Fay's and Genovese were re-bannered as Eckerd. JCP sold the chain to to CVS, with the Eckerd and Brooks stores from Georgia to New England being sold to Jean Coutou (along with the Clearwater, FL hq and DC) and CVS keeping Eckerd in Florida, Texas and the Southwest and the Gulf coast between FL and TX retiring the Eckerd name . Jean Coutou sold the Brooks Eckerd chain to Rite Aid, bringing an end to the Eckerd name in 2007.

rich
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Re: Goodbye Eckerd (Rite Aid buys Eckerd and Brooks Drugs)

Post by rich » 06 Jan 2010 22:50

Wayne recapped it better than I could--chains related through family and ultimately merged into the Florida chain.

The Erie chain was never a factor in NE Ohio. I don't think they even made it to Ashtubula or Conneaut (the Ohio towns closest to Erie). NE Ohio was Gray Drug (later Rite Aid) and Revco territory.

I believe Genovese extended into southern Connecticut which is very oriented toward New York City and not really New England (many New Englanders disown Connecticut entirely as a part of their region). Fay's never made it as far East as Hartford or Springfield. If they had any New England stores, they might have been in a few towns in the Berkshires which would have been part of Albany media markets.

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