I am not a fan of large chain stores. Take, for instance, office supply stores. The other day I went to buy a bona fide stationary item at Office Max, and guess what, they did not have it. Not a very uncommon item, I might add. However, should I be inclined to stock up on popcorn, candy, Coca-Cola or toilet paper, I could buy loads upon loads of it.
Back in the old days, you could walk into a stationary store, and pretty much find thousands of stationary articles. Sometimes I wondered where they found room to stock everything, but they did. They were really specialized stores. Then Office Max, Office Depot and Staples came along and simply decimated the stationary business. We are stuck with them, really, them and their popcorn, candy and Coke.
The trouble with this is that you can find popcorn, candy and Coke in thousands of other stores, but how about some stationary guys??? Who run these stores, by the way? Probably some 21-year old high school graduate, not very well versed in office goods, who is glad to be called manager to impress girls and makes $ 8.23 an hour.
Pharmacies pretty much follow the same pattern. The other day I read an article in Forbes magazine that provided the number of CVS stores in the USA. I almost fainted. Actually, in this neighborhood there are Walgreen stores almost every 1000 feet, it seems .
Do I shop in these pharmacies? Sure I do. For one, insurance companies cut deals with the chain pharmacies, and I suppose, leave out the few independents out there sucking their thumbs. I am stuck with CVS, in that regard, cannot really buy prescriptions anywhere else.
CVS and Walgreens, like the office supplies stores, are well stocked up in items such as high sugared drinks and candy/food, alcoholic beverages, and tons on non pharmaceutical or medical items. And they simply drove Miami Beach's Surfmed out of business.
"Joans, business is a Darwinian thing, the survival of the fittest". Here is the trouble, CVS and Walgreens, with all their junk food, booze, and in Walgreens' case, cigarettes (at least CVS dropped that product from their offerings), fail to provide surgical items, or specialty medical goods, which Surfmed sold. These are more related to their supposed core business, Pharmacy. But no, they drove the one store that sold this product in an area with a large elderly population, but are obviously not intent on selling this type of product.
So, you see, large is not always best.