12 drugstore chains that no longer exist after merger spree

Retail pharmacy is now dominated by such players as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, but that was not always the case. Before those chains embarked on a merger and acquisition spree, there were several drugstore chains that were staples in their regions. Below is a list of 12 of the now-defunct drugstore chains and their history, according to Business Insider.

1. Adams Drug Company. This was retail chain that opened in 1932 in Rhode Island. In 1984, the company was acquired by Pantry Pride, a supermarket chain, and the brand faded a few years later.

2. Big B. Drugs. The drugstore was established by now-defunct grocer Bruno's in 1968 in Alabama. Revco, a different pharmacy chain, acquired the company in 1996. Then CVS acquired Revco in 1997 and rebranded Big B. Drugs as CVS pharmacies.

3. Brooks Pharmacy. Launched in 1932, the pharmacy was once a mainstay in New York and New England. After a series of failed mergers and acquisitions in the early 2000s, the struggling pharmacy chain was purchased by Rite Aid in 2006. The Brooks name disappeared shortly after.

4. Eckerd. Eckerd was one of the major national drugstore chains in the U.S. for decades. The company was acquired by JCPenney in 1997, but JCPenney sold the stores in 2004. After Eckerd was sold, it merged with Brooks Pharmacy. Ultimately, Rite Aid acquired the stores in 2006. The Eckerd brand disappeared from stores the following year.

5. Gray Drug. The drugstore opened in Ohio in 1912 and later expanded into Florida and Maryland. Rite Aid purchased Gray Drug in 1987.

6. Genovese Drug Stores. The drugstore chain was founded in Queens, N.Y., in 1924. It was a staple in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. JCPenney  bought the chain in 1998 and rebranded the stores as Eckerd pharmacies.

7. G.O. Guy. Founded in 1888 by George Omar Guy, this chain of drugstores in the Seattle area disappeared after Pay 'n Save bought the business in 1987.

8. Happy Harry's. The drugstore chain opened in Delaware in 1962 and expanded to three other states during its prime years. Walgreens acquired Happy Harry's in 2006.

9. Hook's Drug Stores. The Indianapolis-based drugstore, established by John A. Hook, opened in 1900. It was acquired by CVS in 1997.

10. Katz and Besthoff. The New Orleans-based drugstore opened in 1906. Rite Aid acquired the chain in 1997.

11. Peoples Drug. The drugstore chain, founded in 1905, expanded up and down the East Coast. CVS acquired the chain in 1990, and the brand was retired four years later.

12. Revco. Revco, which filed for bankruptcy in 1988, was able to reverse its fortunes and survived  another nine years before it was purchased by CVS in 1997. It was founded in 1956 in Ohio.

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