While we all know CVS, aka Consumer Value Stores, as the place to go to for beauty products, cleaning supplies, baby products and light groceries as well as a pharmacy for many people across the United States, it wasn’t until four years after it’s opening in 1963 in Lowell, Massachusetts, that CVS began operating pharmacies. Founding brothers, Stanley and Sidney Goldstein, and partner, Ralph Hoagland, grew the business to seventeen stores within the first year, and later, in 1969, sold CVS to Melville Corporation (Melville Corporation changed their name to CVS Corporation in the 90s)
Throughout the 70s, CVS spent most of their time expanding throughout New England and the Northeast, acquiring new store locations, achieving new annual sale records (reaching $100 million in 1974) as well as acquiring Clinton Drug and Discount Stores and the Mack Drug chain. At the end of the decade, CVS/pharmacy starts to open small health and beauty aids stores in enclosed shopping malls as well as launching the national hemophilia home service (fully launched in 1983).
The 80s brought their first year of $1 billion in annual sales (‘85), Harvey Rosenthal is moved to the helm as President and CEO in ‘84, while co-founder Stanley Goldstein is named the President and COO of Melville Corporation in ‘86 and later, in ‘87, is named chairman and CEO. CVS finished out the 80s by celebrating their 25th anniversary, 750 stores and over $1.5 billion in annual sales.
During the 90s, CVS continued to expand through the opening of new stores and acquiring People’s Drug and officially establishing them in the mid-Atlantic market. Simultaneously, CVS launches PharmaCare and names Tom Ryan and their President and CEO in ‘94 (later, in ‘99, he succeeds Stanley Goldstein as chairman) and in ‘96 CVS starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange as a standalone company and Stanley Goldstein is named as their first chairman. The 90s also brought the acquisition of 2,500 stores from Revco and 200 stores from Arbor Drugs.
The new millennium brought on many achievements and growth as well as the introduction of the ExtraCare card, making CVS the first national pharmacy to offer a loyalty card program. CVS’ MinuteClinic became the first accredited retail clinic by The Joint Commission in 2006, all while acquiring 1,268 Eckerd Stores (2004), 700 Sav-On and Osco locations (2006), and 541 Longs Drug locations (2008).
In 2011, Larry Merlo is named President and CEO and CVS reaches $1 billion in revenues. 2014 brought many changes to CVS, such as: Purchasing Coran, stop their cigarette and tobacco product sales in all CVS/pharmacy locations, launching a national smoking cessation program, corporate name change to CVS Caremark and the purchase of Navarro Discount Pharmacy.
In the past two years, CVS has acquired Omnicare, Target’s 1,600 pharmacies and clinics and the announcement of “Be The First”, their $50 million initiative to deliver the nation’s first tobacco free generation.
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