Eckerd Base Case

By Edward Cone  |  Posted 2003-06-01 Print this article Print

Retailing is getting cutthroat. In major metropolitan areas, direct rivals are opening up shop across the street, daring the other to blink and pull up stakes. Among neighborhood pharmacy chains, Eckerd is now in a fight for its life, as Walgreens threate

Eckerd Base Case

Headquarters: 8333 Bryan Dairy Road, Largo, FL 33777

Phone: (727) 395-6000

Business: Drug-store chain sells prescription medicines and a variety of retail goods.

Chief Information Officer: Ken Petersen

Financials: $14.6 billion in sales in fiscal 2002, $412 million operating profit, 2.8% operating profit margin.

Challenge: Rebuild information technology department after outsourcing almost all information technology functions while developing major supply chain and pharmacy systems needed to compete with industry leaders.


  • Turn inventory into sales five times a year, up from four times in 2000.
  • Cut operating expenses, from 21% of sales in 2002.
  • Cut technology spending by an estimated $40 million between 2000 and 2003.
  • Close $1.2 billion gap in operating profit with market leader Walgreens.(In fiscal 2002, Walgreens reported operating profit of $1.6 billion.)

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    Senior Writer and author of the Know It All blog

    Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.

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