EMPLOYER SPOTLIGHT: WALGREEN CO.
HEADQUARTERS: Deerfield, Ill.
PRODUCT/SERVICE: Retail drugs, general merchandise; prescription drugs account for more than 60 percent of sales; the rest comes from general merchandise, over-the-counter medications, cosmetics and groceries.
TOP COMPETITORS: CVS, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart
CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Chairman and CEO David W. Bernauer, 60
LOCAL OPERATIONS: Four Walgreens stores in Richmond and Columbia counties.
EMPLOYEES: About 154,000
2003 EARNINGS: $1.18 billion in earnings on $32.5 billion in sales
HISTORY: Founded in 1901 in Chicago by Charles R. Walgreen, who paid $6,000 to buy the South Side drugstore, where he worked as a pharmacist.
Today the company operates about 4,400 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. It is now second to CVS, which has more than 5,000 locations.
After several years without a store in Augusta, the company began developing new stand-alone locations in the metro area in 2000.
Walgreen adds a new Walgreens store on average every 19 hours.