From a Business Perspective, is Good Customer Service Essential at Walgreens?

I read a few weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal, Walgreens reported its total sales rose 5.5% to $5.99 billion for the month of April. I also read that Walgreens is now 32nd on the Fortune 100 list, which I find quite remarkable as they continue to grow and expand their profitable business model.

They must be doing something right. It’s the type of store when you visit, regardless of time of day, you will find shoppers. Realizing Walgreens is usually busy got me thinking about their service. What’s so special about Walgreens? If you shop there, what’s the attraction? Is it solely convenience or price? Or maybe the service provided in their Pharmacy department? Or all of the above?

Let me ask a few more questions about your relationship with Walgreens…How much time do you spend when you shop there? Does it depend on whether you dropped off a prescription with the pharmacist? When you visit, do you have service expectations at Walgreens?

Walgreens Image from

I don’t know about other shoppers but invariably I find myself having to wait in line at Walgreens – especially if I use the checkout in the front of the store. Do others find this too? If I’m in a hurry, I’ll sometimes survey other departments to determine if another employee is able to ring up my items.

Speaking of potential challenges while visiting Walgreens, do you find it difficult getting in and out of their parking lot? Whether it’s Denver or Fort Lauderdale or Libertyville – I’ve had issues parking and leaving parking spaces in various Walgreens’ locations.

From my repeated experience, it’s often difficult to locate a sales associate to assist you in the store. Typically, many store employees are in the Pharmacy department, behind checkout counters or in the backroom. Perhaps customer service or individual service is not always their focus.

From my perspective, they provide enough service to garner regular and repeat customers. Mind you, I mentioned service, which is not necessarily the same thing as good customer service.

Therefore, having mentioned some of my experiences and challenges there, do other Walgreen shoppers also grab their items and get out of the store ASAP?

Don’t get me wrong, often, this store is conveniently located and their selection is pretty good considering their size. In addition, their Pharmacy often comes through in the clutch. In terms of prices, not so much. They are a little pricey although you’re paying for convenience. I just suspect they are not too customer service focused. Maybe they don’t need to be. Maybe they can be successful with their current model without their customer service. What do others think? Do you agree?

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

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