Drug Fair

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Drug Fair
Former typePrivate
IndustryDrugstore
Fateacquired by Walgreens
Successor(s)Walgreens
Founded1954
Defunct2009
HeadquartersSomerset, New Jersey
Key peopleTim LeBeau, CEO
Employees1700
ParentSun Capital Partners
SubsidiariesCost Cutters
 
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Drug Fair
Former typePrivate
IndustryDrugstore
Fateacquired by Walgreens
Successor(s)Walgreens
Founded1954
Defunct2009
HeadquartersSomerset, New Jersey
Key peopleTim LeBeau, CEO
Employees1700
ParentSun Capital Partners
SubsidiariesCost Cutters
A recently closed Cost Cutters in Norwood, New Jersey, one of the last remaining in the chain; this building once housed an A&P supermarket, marked by design of the store.

Drug Fair was the name of a chain of drugstores based in New Jersey. The company kept its headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey and was founded in 1954.[1] In addition to its drugstore chain Drug Fair also owned and operated Cost Cutters, a discount drug and general merchandise chain which sold many of the same items and often did business in the same areas as Drug Fair stores. Like its competitor CVS had in the previous decade, in the 2000s Drug Fair introduced a discount card called "We Care," which was the company's slogan. The card was good at any Drug Fair or Cost Cutters store as both store's logos were printed on the cards.

In 2005 Drug Fair was acquired by Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm that owns stakes in several nationwide chain businesses.

Drug Fair underwent a rapid expansion beginning in the mid-1990s, and by mid-2008 Drug Fair operated 50 locations. Cost Cutters, which hadn't expanded as aggressively and had seen several locations close, comprised another eleven locations. While initially popular and continuing to have a fairly loyal customer base, competition from other chains such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid eventually began to erode business from these stores.

Signs that the chain was in trouble emerged in March 2009, when two Drug Fair locations in Raritan and Rockaway, New Jersey closed abruptly.[2] Soon thereafter reports began surfacing that Drug Fair had fallen behind on their rent payments, as well as on payments to their suppliers which resulted in store inventory dropping.

Shortly after the two stores closed Drug Fair announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[1] Just prior to the filing Drug Fair announced it was selling a majority of its 50 drugstores to Walgreens, who also purchased prescription lists from several other Drug Fair locations. Upon the purchase Drug Fair closed four of its locations (in Bridgewater, North Arlington, and East Rutherford, New Jersey and one of the store's two locations in Clifton, New Jersey) within days. Shortly thereafter Drug Fair announced the planned closure of ten more stores and nine of its eleven Cost Cutters locations, with liquidation sales to begin immediately. By May 2009, the stores that weren't remaining in the chain were closed. Many of those stores are still vacant, but some were bought up by other chain stores (including Dollar General, who purchased the North Arlington store and one of the two Clifton stores as well as a never-opened Drug Fair in Saddle Brook, New Jersey as part of its expansion into the northern New Jersey market).

As for the stores that Walgreens elected to keep open, they continued to do business as Drug Fair while awaiting conversion to Walgreens. On May 16, 2009, the sale was finalized and Drug Fair's corporate headquarters was closed. On that date the Drug Fair stores still in the chain became Walgreens and Drug Fair ceased to exist. Drug Fair was the third of three Sun Capital Partners businesses to liquidate and close in the span of twelve months; Wickes Furniture was the first and Mervyns was the second.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Amanda Brown - The Star-Ledger. "Drug Fair files for bankruptcy". NJ.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  2. ^ Amanda Brown - The Star-Ledger. "Walgreens plans to buy N.J.'s Drug Fair, close 11 stores". NJ.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10.