According to Drug Store News, Walgreens has signed an agreement to convert or open at least 1,000 stores across the country using its ‘food oasis’ concept over the next five years. The initiative is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s and the Partnership for a Healthier America’s recent announcement to bring healthy, affordable food to nearly 10 million people during that time period.

Since early 2010, Walgreens has opened food oasis stores in major markets such as Chicago and San Francisco.  The result was stores that saw their food selection expanded by up to 60% while offering a larger assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and other healthy meal components
Walgreens is one of several retailers that have signed on to combat food deserts; albeit one of the only companies whose primary business is other than food retailing. Other retailers include Supervalu and Walmart, as well as Brown’s Super Stores, Calhoun Enterprises and Klein’s Family Markets.
According to Chain Store Guide, grocery sales for traditional drug chains like Walgreens have been on the rise for years now, as well as other non-pharmaceutical front-end categories.
Drug Chains’ Front-End Product Category Sales*
Sales in Billions ($)

*Source: 2011 Chain Store Guide Database of Drug Store & HBC Chains. Sales years are fiscal year end.
Brian List, Research Editor 
Brian has been with Chain Store Guide since December 2006. He holds a bachelors degree in Marketing Management from Florida Southern College. Please contact him if you have questions or comments.