DEERFIELD, IL—Touting its foundational values of hard work, honesty, and integrity, drugstore giant Walgreens confirmed Wednesday it is proud of its origins as a small business that in today’s economy would absolutely never have been able to get off the ground. “Here at Walgreens, we still live by the same commitment to customer service preached by Charles Walgreen when he opened his first store back in 1901,” said company president Alex Gourlay, referring to the miniscule, independent pharmacy that, if opened in the modern era, would quickly be crushed by the present-day Walgreens and other retail chains whose outsized bargaining power allows them to squeeze out would-be competitors at will. “Just like Charles, we take great pride in everything we do. We now have more than 8,000 locations, but in many ways, we’re still that same little shop on the corner [that in the current market would be boarded up within 12 months, leaving its bankrupt owner hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt].” Gourlay added that each Walgreens store sees itself as an integral part of the community it serves, in the sense that residents no longer have any other place to shop and are thus completely dependent upon it.
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