Walgreen SWOT analysis


Walgreen SWOT analysis

WalgreenSWOT analysis

WalgreenSWOT analysis

WalgreenCo. is one of the largest pharmaceuticals retailers in the UnitedStates. The drug store enlisted in the New York security exchange asWAG. The retailer has a chain of stores distributed in differentcities in the United States specializing on both prescribed andnon-prescribed drugs (Bacon, 2004). The stores also stock othercommodities mainly beauty product and malted milk. It is by far, oneof the most innovative and convenient drug stores (Walgreen website).The fact that Walgreen has moved from a retail pharmacy to a generalmerchandise store offering one stop shopping experience gives it acompetitive advantage compared to other relatively smaller drugstores and retailers.



Someof the major strengths of Walgreen include

  • Based on sales and earning growth, Walgreen is a national leader. The huge market share in the prescribed drug market is the most important strength enjoyed by the store.

  • The store has had very fast expansion where it has opened more new stores with better customer experiences.

  • The stores operate for 24 hours

  • Walgreen drug stores offer a wide range of drugs, beauty products and groceries making them convenient one stop stores.

  • Walgreen stores are located in strategic and superior locations compared to the competition.

  • Huge number of stores. The drug retailer has over eight thousand stores.

  • Strong brand recognition resulting into customer trust and loyalty.

  • Ability to prescribe drugs in up to ten different languages.

  • A vibrant and informative website.


  • Walgreen drugs stores are not competitive in their prices. There are other drug stores which offer more favorable prices to their client.

  • The interior layouts of their stores are not convenient and therefore, there is no exciting customer experience. For example, there is small spacing in their stores, which have grid view which is not convenient.

  • Walgreen has been slow in adopting new technology and thus their online sales are relatively low.

  • There stores are limited in one geographical area, that is, limited international presence. Despite being a huge drug retailer, Walgreen stores are only found in the United States, Colombia and Puerto Rico.


  • There is an increased demand for prescribed drugs in the market. The aging population and emerging health challenges has increased the number of people requiring regular supply of drugs.

  • Acquisition of stores and buildings will more space to improve customer experience and convenience.

  • The store can also tap in the emerging trend of in-store clinics by providing physician and laboratory services in their stores.

  • Incorporation of medical insurance company as a third party in the prescribed drugs markets.

  • Expansion to the international market to increase geographical coverage and profitability.

  • Enhancing loyalty by promoting frequent customer visits.

  • Adoption of emerging technologies such as online sales in order to reach emerging markets.


  • Discount stores mainly huge stores such as Wal-Mart is an important threat to drug stores in the United States.

  • Departmental stores such as Wal-Mart pose a threat to Walgreen due to high variety and broad assortment in their stores which attracts more customers.

  • Increased and more stringent regulation in the drug market, especially prescription of drugs.

  • Health care reforms that aims at creating low cost health care services and commodities.

  • Competition for qualified pharmacists and other essential staff.

Competitiveadvantage, Walgreen vs. CVS

Walgreenand CVS are the largest drug stores in the United States. They have acombined market share of about 42 percent of the United Statesprescribed drug market, split fairly equally between the two stores.Therefore, they have a huge influence in the drug retain market.Despite this, Walgreen marketing strategies are different compared toCVS. The main component of Walgreen competitive advantage is growthof the retail footprint where there are huge capital investments inexpanding their stores. Thus, despite the comparable market share,Walgreen has higher number of stores. On the other hand, CVS majorinvestments focus an integrated system. CVS also focuses on PharmacyBenefit Management which has over 63 million captive customers andaccount for a significant fraction of sales, while Walgreen hasabandoned a similar program. However, both stores are striving tobecome more environment friendly stores. The influence and marketshare of the two giants continue to grow despite the challenges theyboth face.


Bacon,J. U. (2004). America`sCorner Store: Walgreen`s Prescription for Success.Hoboken: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Rind,C. (2011).WalgreenSWOT analysis,http://www.freeswotanalysis.com/health-pharmaceutical-swot/165-walgreen-swot-analysis.html