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Posted: Tuesday, October 06 2009. 10:23

American Pharmacy Chain to sell Alcohol

After the coffee chain Starbucks announced sale of beer and wine from some of its stores, the largest American pharmacy chain Walgreens has also decided to start selling beer and wine again, nearly a decade after discontinuing these product, in an effort to return to profit growth.

As beer and wine return to its shelves over the course of the next 12 to 18 months, the store hopes the decision to re-list alcohol will draw more customers in even though the selling of alcohol will not have as great an emphasis as it used to. It is expected to take up less than 1% of shelf space, reports the Drinks Business.

Alcohol on sale will include mainstream beer and micro brews while 12 feet of shelf space will be dedicated to wine.

The 108-year old company is reportedly going through one of the most important strategic and operational transformations in the company’s history. In June this year, the pharmacy applied for a local government licence to reintroduce beer and wine into its 7,000 stores.

Walgreens took alcohol off its shelves in the 1990s following a reported drop in sales. The company is reported to have been once the largest liquor retailer in the US.

It is quite an interesting contrast  to the situation in India where the wine and beer have been allowed to be sold through only liquor shops till recently in Delhi, when beer was opened up for sale in the department stores whereas the new policy announced but not implemented goes to the other extreme and will allow the sale of beer, wine as well as hard liquor.

       

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