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  #1  
Old August 19th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Walgreens in Hawaii?

Uh oh. Walgreens Drug Store is in negotiations to open up its first drug stores in Hawai'i. Even though Longs is now owned by a California company, it has a Hawaiian heritage. Please support and patronize your local Longs Drug Stores. Walgreens, once let in to a territory, will start proliferating like crazy...like toadstools after a spring rain. And the profits from Walgreens go to feed you-know-who.

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  #2  
Old August 19th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

I always wondered when another chain would challenge Longs here. They certainly focus on their "local" ties (despite being a California company), and there's a great deal of affection for them -- note Lee Cataluna's "Folks You Meet In Longs." But I've always felt they've rested on their laurels too long... only recently making changes to compete more aggressively on services and hours. And their prices remain noticably higher than they should be.

Clearly folks like their spirit, as evidenced by the survival of the Mililani Longs store, literally across the parking lot from WalMart. The hippie liberal in me likes how they generally run their stores and treat their employees. And sometimes I'll duck in there when I'm shopping nearby, or I just want something quick (locals, having grown up in Longs stores, pretty much always know where everything is).

But sentimentality and loyalty goes only so far. And sometimes I translate the CHARLESTON code on Longs' price tags, and it's enough to get me across the lot to WalMart again.
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  #3  
Old August 19th, 2005, 02:29 PM
kimo55 kimo55 is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

don't need it. don't want it.
we can only slice up the pie so many times, then our land is covered by only bigbox multinational corporate chain stores and our towns resemble just another ugly generic city in the valley.
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  #4  
Old August 20th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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Keith H. Keith H. is offline
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Default Re: Walgreen coming to Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miulang
And the profits from Walgreens go to feed you-know-who.
Hi Miulang, maybe I haven't reading enough of your posts, and I can probably guess what you mean from context, but "you-know-who" = ??
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  #5  
Old August 20th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

I don't see Walgreen's as a threat to Long's, at least in regards to over-the-counter consumer goods sales.

I've shopped in Walgreen's all over. Shopped in them in Chicago (their home base), New Orleans, and down the road from me in Newport, RI. The one common denominator about their stores seems to be the "sameness" of them regardless of what town they are in. They all look alike, they all have the same merchandise, and to me, there isn't anything special about them that is going to change a local on O'ahu from switching alligences from Long's to Walgreen's. There doesn't seem to be any local flavor to them, no matter where they are at...nothing to distinguish a Chicago Walgreen's from an Attleboro, Massachusetts Walgreen's.

What Long's has going for it, is the local flavor, with unique Hawai'i things, like musubi and loco-moco ovens at the checkouts, the crackseed aisle, the fresh poi at the downtown N. King branch and all the seasonal fun stuff one can get, say at Christmas.

I'm not saying that Walgreen's wouldn't adapt to local tastes and needs (I think it would be an absolute must to compete in Hawai'i), but based on what I've seen at Walgreen's throughout the mainland, I'm guessing any Walgreen's in Hawai'i will be, in principle, no different from one in Milwaukee.

I think the ultimate challange would be is how Long's would compete with Walgreen's on prescription drug prices. If Walgreen's can consistantly offer lower drug prices to the citizens of Hawai'i, which it may very well be able to, being the huge chain they are, Long's could conceiveably have a corporate fight to deal with.

I might add that New Orleans once had a pharmacy chain of its own up, until a few years ago, that was similar to Long's, with an array of local goods and eclectic merchandise. It was known as K&B (Katz and Besthoff) and it was a well-known New Orleans tradition, just like Long's-Hawai'i is today. While K&B and Walgreen's were competitors from practically the start, (Walgreen's didn't muscle in all of a sudden over night), the K&B chain ultimately lost out, and if I recall, Walgreen's became, at that time of the K&B closures, the major drug store in N.O. Walgreen's is indeed a heavyweight that the upper management of Long's need to be wary of.
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  #6  
Old August 20th, 2005, 03:29 PM
kimo55 kimo55 is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfingfarmboy
any Walgreen's in Hawai'i will be, in principle, no different from one in Milwaukee.
sorry, but not at all true.
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  #7  
Old August 20th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

I think it'll have some difficulty winning local consumers over. The Miliani situation is unique, because of the Wal-Mart, but the Home Depot hasn't (yet) taken out City Mill. There are places people go because that's where they've always gone, and Longs is definitely one of them.

City Mill and Longs have that whole neighborhood thing in common. In order for Walgreens to convince me to shop there, it would have to be more convenient to me than Longs, and that's impossible. Almost everyone's close to a Longs, and that's why it does so well.

Remember, Pay-Less made a go of it in the early nineties and couldn't hang on.

Sure, there are things I'll never buy at Longs unless it's an emergency, because they're so much cheaper elsewhere, but I'm still there once or twice a week.

Walgreens would do well to start off in places where its familiarity will be comforting to maindlanders, such as in Wahiawa and in Waikiki.
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  #8  
Old August 20th, 2005, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Kimo...you omitted two key words to my conjecture. The original quotation was "I'm guessing any Walgreen's in Hawai'i will be, in principle, no different from one in Milwaukee". I never stated it as a fact.

Now...if the proposed Walgreen's is established at Pearl Kai, how will it be different from any other Walgreen's, other than by the virtue it would be in Hawai'i?
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  #9  
Old August 20th, 2005, 05:18 PM
kimo55 kimo55 is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

my point was, even as a conjecture, it would miss the mark and not reflect reality.
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  #10  
Old August 20th, 2005, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

For me, it will depend on price and customer service. There are few things I specifically go to Longs to buy. Usually it's stuff that's on sale, like 99-cent shampoo or three candy bars for 99 cents.

Longs brands itself as a "local" company, but they're a mainland corporation whose stock trades publicly and has stockholders to answer to just like Walgreens. The grunt employees might be local, but so will the ones hired to work at Walgreens.

Oh, and my second factor - customer service. There are certain Longs stores I will personally never set foot inside and bad mouth them to anyone who will listen. Too many instances of grumpy/unhelpful clerks and sloooooow cashiers do take their toll on consumers.

If I'm consistently treated better and can find lower prices at Walgreens, then that's where I'll shop.
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  #11  
Old August 21st, 2005, 12:31 AM
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pzarquon pzarquon is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimo55
my point was, even as a conjecture, it would miss the mark and not reflect reality.
Don't you know, Surfingfarmboy? Kimo knows all! He can declare any statement false on its face, and his all-knowingness alone should validate the declaration. Don't bother asking for an explanation. It just highlights your ignorance.

What would Walgreens have to do to 'adapt' to the local market? Carry crack seed, arare, and bentos. I think a key element as to how easy this will be is how Walgreens handles inventory. Longs, in many cases, requires vendors and suppliers to maintain stock. The people who refill the racks of arare, for example, are most likely the wholesaler who has the contract with Longs, not Longs employees. If Walgreens follows a similar model, "adapting" won't require much more than making deals with local suppliers. If, however, Walgreens has a centralized inventory and ordering system, making room beyond the "template" of standard offerings would take a lot more work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrivener
I think it'll have some difficulty winning local consumers over. The Miliani situation is unique, because of the Wal-Mart, but the Home Depot hasn't (yet) taken out City Mill. There are places people go because that's where they've always gone, and Longs is definitely one of them.
Sure, City Mill and Longs are still around despite Home Depot and WalMart, but it sure doesn't look like Home Depot and WalMart are lacking for customers. What the "local" companies have is goodwill and service... and as Palolo Joe notes, there's certainly pockets of apallingly bad service at these "local" companies. Fact is, great as it is that the "take care" of their people, that often means holding onto employees that are liabilities, not assets, to their stores. I've remarked more than once how amazing it is that there are some local businesses that not only seem to not want my business... but are outright hostile to actually earning a buck. They'd rather I walk out the door than burn a few calories to ring up a sale.

Again, if the "local" stores just expect us to patronize them just because of their neighborhood links, and don't emphasize service, then all consumers have to decide on is price, and that usually means they'll go to the "big box" chains.

Longs does have a knack for picking locations here, though. If I were Walgreens, I'd have a tough time coming up with spots that would work as well.
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  #12  
Old August 21st, 2005, 01:33 AM
arturo_h arturo_h is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Strange, I feel Longs is a "local" store here in California. I don't see why Wallgreens wouldn't be able to do the same type of "business" that Longs is doing in the islands. It all depends on the people. Any business can be considered "local", depending on how long they have been established in the area. And I think that's why Longs is considered "local" there in Hawai'i and here in California.
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  #13  
Old August 21st, 2005, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Walgreens are literally on every street corner in Arizona these days it seems, but Longs went bust in my college town of Flagstaff, Arizona during Senior Bush's recession during the early 90's. I knew of several other Longs going out of business as well. I knew its home base was in Northern California but I was astonished to see Hawaii had so many Longs and that is was a monopoly as a drug store on the islands. Remember I thought most Longs had gone out of business so it was surprising to see how well it did over here.

I agree Walgreens would do extremely well in Waikiki because of all the mainland tourists who could see a familiar drug store to shop at. I always thought it was smart business of Zippy's not to have a restaurant in Waikiki because the mainland tourists would ignore it since its such a local tradition.

KalihiBoy
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  #14  
Old August 21st, 2005, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalihiboy
I agree Walgreens would do extremely well in Waikiki because of all the mainland tourists who could see a familiar drug store to shop at.
Even with an ABC Store on every corner?
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  #15  
Old August 21st, 2005, 04:03 PM
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Glen Miyashiro Glen Miyashiro is offline
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Default Re: Walgreen coming to Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith H.
Hi Miulang, maybe I haven't reading enough of your posts, and I can probably guess what you mean from context, but "you-know-who" = ??
I think Miulang might be under the impression that Walgreens and Wal-Mart are connected. Both may be giant soul-sucking corporations, but they're not directly related.
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  #16  
Old August 21st, 2005, 04:38 PM
arturo_h arturo_h is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

I don't see how you can differentiate between Wal-Mart/Walgreens/Longs. They can all be considered "soul-sucking corporations” or all be considered “non-soul-sucking corporations.” Just because Longs has been in Hawai’i for so long doesn’t exclude it from the “corporation” category. I’m sure all the executives at Longs are as greedy as those at Wal-Mart and Walgreens. I think the employees at each location are what distinguish the store as “local” or not.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 04:39 PM
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Glen Miyashiro Glen Miyashiro is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Hey, Longs may be a giant soul-sucking corporation too, but dammit, it's our giant soul-sucking corporation.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 04:44 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: Walgreen coming to Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Miyashiro
I think Miulang might be under the impression that Walgreens and Wal-Mart are connected. Both may be giant soul-sucking corporations, but they're not directly related.
Eh Glenn, you are correct. Walgreen's is the largest retail pharmacy in the country. And WM is one of the world's largest blood sucking corporations.

Both share the proclivity to saturate the market with their stores. Walgreen is worse than WM in that regard, but they are as bad as SBUX for putting up stores within a block or two of another one. I think they did that up here to compete with the massive proliferation of Rite-Aid stores (an East Coast chain). In this town, there are street corners that have both a Walgreens and a Rite-Aid right across from each other. Duh. I go to Walgreens sometimes because there's one just down the street. But for most purchases, I would prefer to go to Long's even if it means having to drive 10 minutes.

Miulang
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Old August 21st, 2005, 04:44 PM
arturo_h arturo_h is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Funny I always though it was our (California) corporation. What have we come to when we fight for greedy corporations .
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Old August 21st, 2005, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palolo Joe
Even with an ABC Store on every corner?
Where do tourists go to get their prescriptions filled, I wonder? Of course they should just plan ahead and bring enough, but... these are tourists we're talking about. I've seen more than a few sighing loudly and rolling their eyes in line at Longs Ala Moana to know there's some demand.

ABC seems to have the trinket and snack market locked up in Waikiki. Walgreens near military markets might work better (since I know at least one military couple that's creeped out by Longs!).
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Old August 21st, 2005, 04:52 PM
Miulang Miulang is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pzarquon
Where do tourists go to get their prescriptions filled, I wonder? Of course they should just plan ahead and bring enough, but... these are tourists we're talking about. I've seen more than a few sighing loudly and rolling their eyes in line at Longs Ala Moana to know there's some demand.

ABC seems to have the trinket and snack market locked up in Waikiki. Walgreens near military markets might work better (since I know at least one military couple that's creeped out by Longs!).
The really cool thing about Longs is one time we were visiting Maui and my kane needed to have a prescription from a Seattle dentist filled (he like a lolohead didn't think he needed the painkiller but he brought the Rx along just in case...good thing he did). Anyway, we went into the Kihei Longs and he gave the Seattle Rx to the pharmacist. Within about 10 minutes, they had called Seattle, confirmed the Rx and given JD his pain meds. Since the Longs in Kihei is one that tourists to that area would use, I think they did just great with an out of state prescription order.

Miulang

P.S. Most East Coast people wouldn't know from Longs or Walgreens. CVS corners the market on drugstores along most of the East Coast (and competes against Rite-Aid).
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Old August 21st, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

I like to go to Longs and buy wine. Buy six and get a discount. So I always try to buy six bottles at a time. Lasts me a little while.
I also like to go to Wal-Mart because at my local Longs is this chick who sent her kids to the same preschool as mine, and had them in the same classes as mine, but would ignore all of my attempts at conversation. If you know me, I'm a friendly sort. I can get just about anyone to open up. I decided it was her insecurities. But, as a result, I dropped $200 at Wal-Mart yesterday and I could have easily spent half of that at Longs had this woman, who is still there, acknowledged that words were coming out of my mouth a year and a half ago.
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  #23  
Old August 23rd, 2005, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Well for what its worth there are more ABC Stores than roaches in Waikiki. It is ridiculous!! You cannot get pharmacy drugs at ABC Store so I think a Walgreens would do well maybe tear down the grocery mart on Kuhio near Kings Alley and put a Walgreens there. It doesnt matter if its tourists or locals, if you build it, they will come and I bet you that mainland tourists will flock to a Waikiki Walgreens much more than having to run to Ala Moana Longs.

I will shudder to see the lines at the Walgreens drug store during the cold/flu season!!

KalihiBoy
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  #24  
Old August 23rd, 2005, 04:23 AM
kimo55 kimo55 is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

guess yer talking food pantry.
so sad.....
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  #25  
Old June 7th, 2006, 08:52 PM
gvravel gvravel is offline
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Default Re: Walgreens in Hawaii?

Yeah, I know this thread is many months old and I'm just now replying. Anyway, I'm a Walgreens Asst. Mgr (for 10 years) and I would look forward to moving back to Hawaii and opening up the first Walgreens stores on Oahu.

In order for Walgreens to expand to Hawaii they would have to plan to open at least 15 - 20 stores. There are various expense areas where it wouldn't make sense to open up less than that. A DTR (Data Technical Resourses) department would have to be open up to service the stores. This is the department that troubleshoots and maintains the electronics/computers at Walgreens. It requires at least 6 employees. Eventually they would have to open up a distribution center to service the stores. A seperate district office would also have to be opened up. This requires a minimum of 6 more employees.

I lived in Hawaii for 4 years in the 70's and have visited Hawaii quite frequently since then. Walgreens would very much have to create stores that cater to the clientele of the islands. While the majority of merchandise is from the warehouse system the management of the stores and the district have great leeway on selling other type of merchandise.
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