News of Walgreen’s decision to buy Rite Aid for $17.2 Billion has everyone from pharmaceutical companies to ad agencies and real estate brokers wondering what the future holds. And, while pharmacy competitors like CVS, Walmart, Giant Eagle, and numerous regional retailers have to view the new mega-chain as a threat, the move could create opportunities as well.

When news of the acquisition broke, we quickly deployed a national survey question, identifying 959 current customers of either Walgreen’s or Rite Aid to see how a potential acquisition might affect where they shop. Twenty-four hours later, we saw some interesting results.


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The first takeaway is that, clearly, Walgreen’s stands to gain a large group of new customers, representing perhaps as much as 40% of its current customer base. That’s a big increase.

But it’s also notable that over 25% of Rite Aid’s current customers may look to change pharmacies, if or when the acquisition is complete. That puts a huge slug of consumers up for grabs. Let the games begin.

We’ve written before about the differing profiles of chain pharmacy customers. With the acquisition of Rite Aid, Walgreen’s stands to gain a slightly older consumer segment, including a higher rate of homeowners, people living in rural areas, and people who visit a primary care physician more regularly (meaning more prescriptions or OTC purchases per customer).

But how are the likely switchers and non-switchers different? Who can the competitive brands hope to win over and where can they be reached? Which competitive brands are most closely aligned with these likely switchers? We’re collecting a little more data to figure that out – and we will very soon. Surely, you understand if we don’t publish platinum insights like that for free. 🙂