Dart Drug, Wash DC area?

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Bearhawke
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Location: Phx area, Arizona

Dart Drug, Wash DC area?

Post by Bearhawke »

Anybody remember Herbert Haft's company in the late 1970's? They were based in the Wash DC area.

I know they are now gone...........
Bearhawke in Arizona
bobsjers
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Re: Dart Drug, Wash DC area?

Post by bobsjers »

Yes, I remember them. They did quite well. They also opened Crown Books and Trak Auto. Some of the drug stores also sold building materials. I remember one store with ceiling tile on one side of the aisle and wine on the other. They were not well organized. Because of the family bickering, they ended up selling the Dart Drug stores because no one in the Haft family could agree on anything. They sold to an upscale company called Fantles. I don't think anyone who would shop at an upscale store would come within a mile of a former Dart Drug, not to mention there were probably more Dart Drug stores than there were upscale people in many areas. So Fantle's had a very short life. Ironically many of the Fantles end up as Shopper's Food Warehouse stores, which I believe was owned by one or two of the Hafts.
werememberretail
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Re: Dart Drug, Wash DC area?

Post by werememberretail »

bobsjers wrote:Yes, I remember them. They did quite well. They also opened Crown Books and Trak Auto. Some of the drug stores also sold building materials. I remember one store with ceiling tile on one side of the aisle and wine on the other. They were not well organized. Because of the family bickering, they ended up selling the Dart Drug stores because no one in the Haft family could agree on anything. They sold to an upscale company called Fantles. I don't think anyone who would shop at an upscale store would come within a mile of a former Dart Drug, not to mention there were probably more Dart Drug stores than there were upscale people in many areas. So Fantle's had a very short life. Ironically many of the Fantles end up as Shopper's Food Warehouse stores, which I believe was owned by one or two of the Hafts.


Actually the Hafts sold Dart Drug because of a then general downturn in the 1980s in the drugstore industry at the time. (the same reason why Imasco was unable to make crosstown rival Peoples Drug, then headed by "Bud" Fantle, despite having 800 stores, a successful multiregional/national chain) The Hafts prior to selling Dart began cutting costs by shrinking the size of a number of its stores and ending the practice of giving cash refunds. the stores suffered heavy pilferage and were in bad condition They sold the stores to their managers that were saddled with the taxing task of cleaning up the stores. they later gave up on them and sold them to Bud Fantle after he left Peoples, Fantle couldn't make them work even after putting his name on the stores, by 1990 the chain was history. Drug Emporium got some of the stores afteward. Meanwhile the Hafts spent the Rest of the 80s using funds from selling the Dart Drug stores (the company kept the name Dart Group even after the drug stores were sold) to grow Crown Books and Trak Auto and go after numerous big regional and national retailers and multinational companies. They made ofters for Safeway, Pathmark, Kroger, Stop & Shop, If my memory is correct they even tried to go after Target and Walgreens. Herbert Haft and family made tons of money and towards the 90s lots of family feuds, the latter ultimately destroyed the Haft dynasty. towards the end Haft bought out Shoppers Food Warehouse. meanwhile the Trak and Crown stores suffered neglect and slowly were liquidated. the end came in 1999 when Richfood, Shoppers supplier, (who would months later would be purchased by Supervalu) bought the Dart Group Corporation and promptly began winding down the Crown and Trak operations and selling off the Hafts non SFW interests.
NewsLynne
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Re: Dart Drug, Wash DC area?

Post by NewsLynne »

Ahhh...Dirty Dart. Our closest was on Cedar Lane in Vienna. It's a CVS now but the store's been chopped into several pieces. The shopping center had a Marina Safeway at one end and Dart on the other.

Seems like the Dart changeover to Fantles happened fast.
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