Eckerd's "leapfrog" development

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Ephrata1966
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Eckerd's "leapfrog" development

Post by Ephrata1966 »

Eckerd is a very interesting example of "leapfrogging" to me. Their strongholds seemed to be Florida, both the Houston and Philadelphia markets, upstate New York, and just maybe Virginia and North Carolina. They gained most of this territory with the Thrift Drug takeover.
wnetmacman
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Re: Northeastern chains in Virginia?

Post by wnetmacman »

Ephrata1966 wrote:They gained most of this territory with the Thrift Drug takeover.
Actually, at least for the southern states (from Florida west to Texas), most of Eckerd's growth was organic. Eckerd was in Texas in the late 60's/early 70's. JC Penney didn't purchase Eckerd and merge Thrift into it until 1996. Eckerd only gained territory north of Virginia when JCP made that purchase. They were very well entrenched into the south by that point.
Scott Greer
Ephrata1966
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Re: Northeastern chains in Virginia?

Post by Ephrata1966 »

Not to be rude, but I have never heard the word "organic" applied to retail before. It sounds kind of strange.

Anyway, is it true that only Eckerds in Florida and Texas were sold to CVS? And the ones in between became Rite Aid?

Did the stores in Texas you are referring to go by the "Eckerd Drugs" name? These could be found in New Jersey and Delaware!

I think the Eckerd logo we all know is actually from the 80's. But most of the Houston locations looked like ex-Thrift Drugs. They began to replace those stores soon after they would have assumed the Eckerd name.
wnetmacman
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Re: Northeastern chains in Virginia?

Post by wnetmacman »

Ephrata1966 wrote:Not to be rude, but I have never heard the word "organic" applied to retail before. It sounds kind of strange..
Organic growth refers to natural store expansion not done through acquisitions.
Ephrata1966 wrote:Anyway, is it true that only Eckerds in Florida and Texas were sold to CVS? And the ones in between became Rite Aid?
CVS acquired the Eckerd stores from Texas to Florida, as well as Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Rite Aid only took the more northern stores.
Ephrata1966 wrote:Did the stores in Texas you are referring to go by the "Eckerd Drugs" name? These could be found in New Jersey and Delaware!

I think the Eckerd logo we all know is actually from the 80's.
The stores I remember growing up in Texas had the old neon ECKERD DRUGS signs, which were pre-JCPenney. The capsule logo wasn't introduced until the 1980's.
Ephrata1966 wrote:But most of the Houston locations looked like ex-Thrift Drugs. They began to replace those stores soon after they would have assumed the Eckerd name.
Thrift, before the 1996 Eckerd sale to JCPenney, did not exist west of the Mississippi.
Scott Greer
Ephrata1966
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Re: Northeastern chains in Virginia?

Post by Ephrata1966 »

It still surprises me the capsule logo is only from the 80's. Well actually I believe it didn't used to be a capsule, just script. Eckerd always seemed very 50's/60's/70's to me, in a classic way, like many supermarkets.

Whatever the case in Houston, both ex-Thrifts and older Eckerd units were relocated to a standard drive-thru Eckerd. I do know one of those in Houston built in 1995, a little before the JCPenney deal. Thrift Drug and the Eckerd of the early 80's had some things in common. Their stores almost always were in grocery-anchored centers. Both chains' stores were long and narrow. I have noticed one difference though. Thrift Drug usually was right next to another anchor, second from the end. Eckerd was usually in the middle of the center. I can name examples if you want.
jimbobga
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Re: Eckerd's "leapfrog" development

Post by jimbobga »

Just a couple of things...

CVS acquired Eckerd in Georgia, but only in parts of Georgia; the Atlanta metro stores became Rite-Aid, which already had a minimal presence in outlying county seats until this point. Some of these stores maintained the neon "Welcome to Eckerd" sign above the entrance inside the store for months after changing the name outside.

And going back about 40 years...I grew up in central Florida in the sixties; Eckerd had shopping center locations all over the area at that point. The signage was block print in red neon, saying simply Eckerd Drugs. The 'r' in drugs had an elongated tail which had a slash mark across it, thus creating an "Rx" in the middle of the word 'drugs.' When traveling as a teenager, I noticed which chains were located in specific areas. Once leaving central Florida, Eckerd didn't exist again until piedmont area of North Carolina. Both in newspaper ads and signage, the logo was green in script lettering. Also, the stores were signed "Eckerd's Drugs." There was enough difference between the look of the two logos, and the stores themselves, to make it seem like it was two different chains. Some references state that the Florida stores were owned by Jack Eckerd, with the North Carolina stores being owned by a brother, or another member of the same family. Other references state that it was the same chain. Does anyone know the real story behind difference?
jamcool
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Re: Eckerd's "leapfrog" development

Post by jamcool »

Eckerd expanded into Phoenix and Tucson just before the CVS takeover - CVS moved into PHX the same time Eckerd did. Some that were under construction as Eckerd opened as CVS. When CVS acquired the Osco stores here, several of the former Eckerds near the existing Oscos were closed.
rich
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Re: Eckerd's "leapfrog" development

Post by rich »

The history of Eckerd has been dealt with a couple times--do a search. The Eckerd family had different branches in different places (FL, PA, NC, DE) that laid the foundation for the chain.
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