My final class for my BBA was a management course where we would take case studies of different businesses and analyze them. For our final project, we were to study a man named Justin Dart, who was from the Chicago area and who for years had headed the Rexall drug store chain.
He was an interesting guy. He went to Northwestern where he played football, then married Ruth Walgreen, whose father headed the Walgreens drug store chain. Daddy-in-law gave him an executive position, giving him the opportunity to experiment with a couple of ideas. Most notably, he moved the pharmacy to the back of the store, giving the customers some privacy when they were having their prescriptions filled, and guaranteeing that they had to walk through the entire store to get there.
The marriage and the job ended in the early 1940’s, and soon he moved to Boston to head up the United Drug Store chain. They had drug stores under four different names (Ligget, Owl, Sonta, and Rexall), and one of his first acts was to rename all of them Rexall. Soon there were Rexall stores all throughout the US and Canada, and he was considered the "boy wonder" of the drug store business. He sold his stake in Rexall in 1978 (the year I graduated with my BBA), but by then had acquired stakes in Avon, West Bend Housewares, Duracell, Tupperware Home Parties, and a few other businesses and operated them as Dart Industries, which he sold to Kraft in 1980.
(Many thanks to Wikipedia for all that information.)
There were Rexall drug stores all over Chicago, almost as many as there were Walgreens, and the orange and blue sign was familiar to all of us. There was a Rexall on my grandmother’s corner, and we used to go in and get candy and coloring books when we’d go to her house. Their one big sale during the year was their "1 Cent Sale," which I’ll let the March Hare explain…
That commercial was from 1966, which explains the prices.
Oh, in case you were wondering, I got an A in the class…