Drug Stores Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 7/23/2018
SIC Codes: 5912
NAICS Codes: 44611
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Drug Stores Industry Profile

Companies in this industry sell prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health and beauty products, and general merchandise from physical retail locations. Major companies include Walgreen Co, CVS Health, and Rite Aid (all based in the US), along with Jean Coutu and Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada), China Nepstar (China), AS Watson (Hong Kong), Matsumoto Kiyoshi (Japan), Anton Schlecker and Dirk Rossmann (Germany), and Walgreen-owned Boots the Chemists (UK).

Global retail pharmacy sales were expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2017, according to Lucintel. Growth drivers include the aging of the population and increased health awareness. North America, with about 40% of worldwide pharmaceutical sales, is the largest market, followed by Europe and Japan with about 25% and 10%, respectively.

The US drug stores industry includes about 44,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $270 billion.


Demand is driven by aging populations in developed nations such as the US and Canada, growth in emerging economies, awareness of health issues, advances in medical treatment, and longer lifespans. The profitability of individual companies depends on access to medical insurance groups. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing and in access to large groups of customers. Small companies can compete effectively through convenient locations or special merchandising. The US industry is highly concentrated: the four largest companies generate about 70% of revenue.

Chain stores account for about ...

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