Drug Stores Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 4/22/2019
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 Chemist (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 48,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $270 billion.


The evolving US health care system and growing competition from online and other competitors are rapidly transforming the retail pharmacy business. Chain stores account for about 50% of the US retail prescription market, according to IMS Health. Mail services account for about 25%, independent drug stores for 15%, and pharmacies at supermarkets for 10%. (Walmart ranks among the top five US retail pharmacies by prescription revenue.) CVS and Walgreen dominate the US chain drug store industry, especially in big cities. In a move that further consolidated the market, ...

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