CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS)
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Brothers Stanley and Sid Goldstein, who ran health and beauty products distributor Mark Steven, branched out into retail in 1963 when they opened up their first Consumer Value Store in Lowell, Massachusetts, with partner Ralph Hoagland.
The chain grew rapidly, amassing 17 stores by the end of 1964 (the year the CVS name was first used) and 40 by 1969. That year the Goldsteins sold the chain to Melville Shoe to finance further expansion.
Melville had been founded in 1892 by shoe supplier Frank Melville. Melville's son, Ward, grew the company, creating the Thom McAn shoe store chain and later buying its supplier. By 1969 Melville had opened shoe shops in Kmart stores (through its Meldisco unit), launched one apparel chain (Chess King, sold in 1993), and purchased another (Foxwood Stores, renamed Foxmoor and sold in 1985).
In 1972 CVS bought the 84-store Clinton Drug and Discount, a Rochester, New York-based chain. Two years later, when sales hit $100 million, CVS had 232 stores -- only 45 of which had pharmacies. The company bought New Jersey-based Mack Drug (36 stores) in 1977. By 1981 CVS had more than 400 stores.
CVS's sales hit $1 billion in 1985 as it continued to add pharmacies to many of its older stores. In 1987 Stanley's success was recognized companywide when he was named chairman and CEO of CVS's parent company, which by then had been renamed Melville.
CVS bought the 490-store Peoples Drug Stores chain from Imasco in 1990, giving it locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. CVS created PharmaCare Management Services in 1994 to take advantage of the growing market for pharmacy services and managed-care drug programs. Pharmacist Tom Ryan was named CEO that year.
With CVS outperforming Melville's other operations, in 1995 Melville decided to concentrate on the drugstore chain. By that time Melville's holdings had grown to include discount department store chain Marshalls and furniture chain This End Up, both sold in 1995; footwear chain Footaction, spun off as part of Footstar in 1996, along with Meldisco; the
Melville was renamed CVS in late 1996. Amid major consolidation in the drugstore industry, in 1997 CVS -- then with about 1,425 stores -- paid $3.7 billion for
CVS opened about 180 new stores and relocated nearly 200 in 1998 as it shifted from strip malls to freestanding stores. (It also closed nearly 160 stores.) Stanley retired as chairman in 1999 and was succeeded by Ryan.
In 1999 the company bought online drugstore pioneer Soma.com, renamed CVS.com. It also launched the CVS ProCare pharmacy to serve customers in need of complex drug therapies. A year later CVS bought Stadtlander Pharmacy of Pittsburgh from Bergen Brunswig (now AmerisourceBergen) for $124 million.
In early 2001 Wolverine Equities paid $288 million for 96 stores, which CVS said it would continue to operate. In 2001 CVS opened 43 stores in new markets, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Las Vegas; and Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, Texas. As part of a strategic restructuring begun in 2001, CVS closed more than 200 stores and moved others from strip malls to freestanding locations.
In July 2002 CVS was among the winning bidders for the remaining assets of bankrupt rival Phar-Mor. CVS acquired the majority of Phar-Mor's prescription lists. In October CVS named KB Toys as the exclusive toy supplier to its drugstores. CVS opened 266 new stores in 2002 and another 150 new stores in 2003.
In April 2003 specialty pharmacy division CVS ProCare changed its name to PharmaCare Specialty Pharmacy.
With those store closings behind it, the drugstore chain began opening stores in Minneapolis, the 10th-largest drugstore market in the US, in 2004. CVS opened about 10 stores in the Los Angeles area in 2004, marking the drugstore chain's return to Southern California after a 12-year absence. CVS is also targeting other high-traffic markets including Chicago, Florida, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Texas for expansion.
In July 2004 CVS completed the acquisition of 1,260 Eckerd stores, Eckerd Health Services (which included Eckerd's $1 billion mail order and pharmacy benefits management businesses), and three distribution centers from
In June 2005 CVS agreed to pay $110 million to settle a shareholders' lawsuit filed in 2001 that alleged the company had made misleading statements to artificially raise its stock price and violated accounting practices. CVS denied the charges and said the settlement was "purely a business decision."
In June 2006 CVS completed the acquisition of some 700 stand-alone Sav-On and Osco drugstores from Albertson's. CVS was part of a consortium that bought the nation's #2 supermarket chain and split it up amongst themselves. The transaction gave CVS access to Southern California and key Midwest markets. In September the company purchased the retail-based health clinic operator MinuteClinic for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition allowed CVS to provide in-store care to its customers for minor ailments.
In March 2007 CVS changed its name to CVS Caremark Corporation following its acquisition of the pharmacy benefits manager Caremark RX, after months of bidding between CVS and Express Scripts. Ultimately, CVS paid about $26.5 billion for Caremark. In November CEO Ryan added the chairman's title to his job description following the retirement of Mac Crawford.
In October 2008 CVS Caremark acquired Longs Drug Stores for about $2.9 billion. Longs Drug operates 521 pharmacies in California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona. The purchase included Long's Rx America subsidiary, a pharmacy benefits management service to more than 8 million members. Also, in 2008 the company opened about 190 new retail pharmacies.
In 2008 CVS settled a lawsuit regarding drug-switching allegations for $36.7 million. The company had been accused of switching Medicaid customers to a more expensive capsule form of Zantac from a tablet form; CVS denied the allegations.
In June 2009 CVS agreed to pay almost $1 million to settle allegations stemming from the sale of expired OTC medications, infant formula, and dairy products.
CVS Caremark in early 2011 won a contract to administer
In 2012 CVS opened drugstores in four new states: Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.
In September 2014, the company changed its name to CVS Health Corporation to reflect its broader commitment to health care. The corporate name change coincided with the cessation of tobacco sales at its retail stores in September.