Walgreens: Beer Is Back!

Woo-hoo! Patrons exclaim

By Steve Rhodes
|  Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009  |  Updated 5:27 PM CDT
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Walgreens: Beer Is Back!

Just in time for summer, Walgreens is about to bring beer back to its shelves.

Happy days are here again: Walgreens is bringing booze back to its shelves.

"Woo-hoo!" Homer Simpson of Springfield exclaimed.

"Walgreens is in the midst of applying for the local government licenses needed to reintroduce beer and wine to its national chain of more than 7,000 stores," the Tribune reports. "The retailer had been selling liquor since the end of Prohibition, but stopped at most of its stores more than a decade ago because of the cost of managing the business."

Those costs can now be better managed because of new computer systems, a spokesperson said.

Woo-hoo!

"Walgreens is adding beer and wine departments as part of a store redesign that includes lower, less-cluttered shelves," the Sun-Times reports.

Walgreens was once the nation's largest liquor retailer, according to Drug Store News.

"As recently as 1991, the category accounted for 12 percent of the chain's total revenue," DSN reported in 2000. "Since then, however, Walgreens has put increasing emphasis on health and wellness merchandising, a convenient shopping format and such faster-turning front-end categories as cosmetics, photo and convenience foods."

Now the company is embarking on an "inventory revamp" and promoting "affordable essentials."

It's all good, Walgreens! 

"We will be expanding in beer and wine; it certainly could be worth a couple points of growth over time," Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon told analysts on Monday.

Damn straight, brother! 

See you in the beer section.


Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review named after a bar across from a Walgreens.

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