The oldest pharmacy chain in the United States started as a single store in a prosperous Chicago neighborhood. Although its purpose was always to supply medication at affordable prices, the company’s mission evolved over the years, which enabled it to keep up with the times.
For the last few years, Walgreens’ mission statement ‘to champion the health and well-being of every community in America’ has remained unchanged.
On the surface, its message is straightforward, and it underlines the company’s determination to supply medication to all nation’s citizens regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. This tagline suggests much more than a mere reference to Walgreens’ commitment to the nation’s well-being.
Let’s examine the Walgreens mission statement closely to understand how it reflects its purpose and values.
|Name||Walgreens Company/ Walgreens Boot Alliance|
|Founded||1901, Chicago, Illinois|
|Market Cap||$35.08 billion|
Walgreens Mission Statement – In-depth Analysis
There are currently 8,890 Walgreens pharmacies in the United States, 131 fewer than two years ago when the company operated 9,021 stores in fifty states. Walgreens also has more than 2,000 pharmacies in the UK, over 1,000 in Mexico as well as several hundred stores in Ireland, Chile, and Thailand.
These pharmacies operate under the Walgreens Boot Alliance, formed in 2014. This holding company’s mission statement is ‘to help people across the world lead healthier and happier lives.’
Aside from having a more global approach, Walgreens Bool Alliance’s mission statement echoes the ideas and values expressed in Walgreens’ mission statement. Both statements encapsulate the following concepts:
- Accessibility to pharmaceutical products
- Raising the health standards of local communities
- Helping each client lead a better and healthier life
Let’s break down each idea and see how it translates into the company’s actions to achieve tangible goals.
Distribution of Pharmaceutical Products
Even though the mission statement doesn’t mention the products the company provides to its customers explicitly, it implies that they help them ‘champion health and well-being.’ Furthermore, the company indicates its purpose is to create ‘more joyful lives through better health.’
Once again, Walgreens’ pharmaceutical products should play a vital role in fulfilling the company’s purpose. The medical products you can find at these chain pharmacies fall into the following categories:
- Prescription drugs
- Beauty and personal care products
- Eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Vitamins and supplements
- Cleaning supplies
- Office materials
- Books, toys, and board games
- Pet products
In addition, the company offers photo-printing services at over 7,500 locations across the country. On the other hand, Walgreens Boot Alliance focuses primarily on the production and retail of prescription and non-prescription drugs and personal care products.
In my opinion, Walgreens’ mission statement doesn’t reveal how selling electronics or spirits contributes to its goal of being America’s champion of health and well-being.
Improving the Health Standards of Communities
The mission statement clearly indicates the company’s intent to ensure all communities in the United States have access to essential medicinal products. Numbers back the intent, as pharmaceutical products account for nearly 60% of the company’s sales.
A sizeable portion of Walgreens stores is located in low-income neighborhoods ensuring its inhabitants have access to medical supplies. The company also played a vital role in the rollout of COVID 19 vaccines, as more than 34 million doses were administered at Walgreens pharmacies.
In doing so, the company helped alter the course of the pandemic and protected communities from being devastated by this infectious disease.
Walgreens’ policy that states ‘we work with suppliers who meet our high ethical standards for human rights and responsible sourcing’ also affects communities throughout the United States as it favors diverse suppliers.
In 2021, the company purchased over $1 billion worth of supplies from diverse-owned companies, including $11 million worth of goods from businesses run by people with disabilities and $6.4 worth of supplies from businesses owned by members of the LGBT community.
Making a Positive Impact on Each Client’s Life
Despite claiming the company’s goal is to make their customers healthier and happier, Walgreens’ drug prices suggest otherwise. The lack of federal regulation of drug prices enables the company to set product prices based on buying trends.
Walgreens is a pricey option for people without health insurance because they’re not eligible for discounts on their prescription drugs. Moreover, Walgreens’ prices of medicinal products match those provided by its competitors.
Using a platform like GoodRx can help you locate the pharmacy that offers the best price for your prescription drug. Regular Walgreens customers can participate in the Balance Rewards program that includes a discount for branded products and cash rewards.
The program ensures that all participants receive a 1% reward for every dollar they spend on prescription drugs or other pharmaceutical products.
The company’s involvement in the distribution and sales of oxycodone, which resulted in numerous fines and lawsuits, also stands in stark contrast with the proclaimed intent to make a positive impact on their clients’ lives.
Walgreens Vision Statement
The goals Walgreens wants to achieve in the future are summarized in a single sentence. The company aims ‘to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being, and beauty company’. However, the company’s been under constant criticism since the turn of the century for numerous reasons.
Incidents like overpricing the Medicaid programs, misleading advertising, and wage theft damaged the company’s reputation and rendered its vision statement untrue. Despite the criticism, the company remains loyal to its social and corporate responsibility goals.
Its parent company Walgreens Boot Alliance has a similar vision as it aims ‘to be the leading partner in reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all.’
Neither of these vision statements specifies how the company plans to achieve its mid-term and long-term goals or offers any indication of how soon they will be achieved. Here’s what a careful analysis of Walgreens’ and Walgreens Boot Alliance’s vision statement reveals.
Being the Nation’s Favorite Pharmacy
This objective isn’t quantifiable, so it’s hard to imagine the methods and tools the company plans to utilize to reach it. However, it reveals Walgreens’ aim is to maintain its presence in all fifty states and extend its reach in international markets.
One of the ways that could help Walgreens achieve this goal is through its charitable donations that support cancer programs, provide support for youth and strive to eradicate hunger and poverty.
The company also fosters inclusion through its Veterans Network Business Resource Group, TWG, and REDI programs.
Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing
Walgreens plans to source all palm oil brands it owns use to produce personal care products and medicine from sustainable sources by the end of 2023. The company also intends to utilize recyclable and compostable plastic to make the packaging for its products.
These objectives, as well as the intent to trace the origins of all materials it uses in the manufacturing process, are in-line with the company’s plan to collaborate with ethical and responsible suppliers.
It’s also worth adding that Walgreens stopped using all harmful chemicals featured on the Restricted Substance List.
Planet Protection Programs
Minimizing the amount of waste disposed of at landfills, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing food waste are some of the initiatives Walgreens Boot Alliance and Walgreens launched in an attempt to create a healthier planet for future generations.
Moreover, WBA intends to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 businesses under its control produce. The company has already eliminated plastic from its online delivery services in the UK and aims to do the same in the US market.
The vision statement contains only a vague reference to the company’s planet protection programs.
A Healthy Work Environment
As an equal opportunity employer, Walgreens focuses on diversity and inclusion. The company’s employees, as diverse as they are, have one thing in common, they’re all driven by excellence.
Walgreens’ hiring practices enable the company to create workplaces based on respect towards the clients and coworkers. Nonetheless, the company settled a class action in March 2021 after facing accusations of breaking California’s labor laws between 2010 and 2017.
These events cast a shadow over the company’s plans to build healthy work environments for its employees in the future.
Walgreens’ Core Values
Walgreens fosters a caring culture by either attending to the needs of its clients or ensuring its employees have everything they need for their personal or professional growth. Walgreens and its parent company adopted these core values:
Let’s go through the four C’s of Walgreens’ core values.
Walgreen is proud of its connections to communities across the United States. Hence, maintaining and developing these relationships is vital for the company’s culture and value system.
The interest in the latest scientific discoveries and their effect on the everyday lives of the company’s clients is consistent with the company’s goal to provide the best care to its customers. Moreover, all employees are encouraged to continue learning and expanding their expertise.
This value was at full display during the pandemic since Walgreens’ resolution to supply quality medical services regardless of the dangers involved was truly inspirational. In addition, courage is among the reasons why Walgreens has remained one of the largest pharmacy chains in the US for more than a century.
Staying loyal to the company’s legacy and its client base is one of the values that has made Walgreens one of the nation’s most liked pharmacy retailers. Commitment to success and sound business practices is a significant part of the company’s plans for the future.
- The mission statement is based on Walgreens’ dedication to local communities.
- The vision statement is vaguely formulated, and it doesn’t reveal how the company plans to reach the goals set in the statement.
- The mission statement establishes Walgreens as America’s top healthcare provider.
- The vision statement stresses the company’s ambition to be the driver of societal and environmental change.
Other Businesses with Similar Values
Besides Target or Costco, Walgreens competes with countless other pharmacy chains for market supremacy. Currently, only CVS Pharmacy has stores at more locations in the US than Walgreens, while Health Mart and Rite Aid combined have fewer stores than Walgreens.
- CVS Pharmacy – Although it was founded six decades after Walgreens, CVS has pharmacies in more than 3,000 cities. The company’s mission is to ‘bring our heart to every moment of your health.’
- Good Neighbor Pharmacy – With nearly 2,500 stores in 51 states and territories, Good Neighbor Pharmacy is a network of locally owned businesses.
- Health Mart – This independent pharmacy franchise has over five thousand locally owned stores that feature products adjusted to the needs of different communities. Its mission is to care for its customers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Walgreens Mission Statement
Question: Do Walgreen’s Employees Have Uniforms?
Answer: Managers and pharmacists wear uniforms at all times. Pharmacists are expected to wear black pants or skirts and white or black shoes.
Question: Are Walgreen’s Stores Understaffed?
Answer: Yes, they are, which is why employees can’t have more than five sick days per year.
Question: Who is the CEO of Walgreens?
Answer: Rosalind Brewer is the current CEO of Walgreens. She assumed this role in March 2021.
Question: What is the Size of Walgreens’ Client Base?
Answer: Estimating the size of Walgreen’s client base is difficult. However, 78% of Americans live within five miles of the nearest Walgreens store, and the company provides services to more than a million customers every day.
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