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The Reinvention of Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart is no doubt an iconic brand here in Canada. With over 1200 retail outlets across the country, Canadians can count on this leading drug store retailer to provide us with the vital medicines we all need to survive and flourish in the modern age. Founder Murray Koffler’s ambition was to “build a national organization of pharmacies without sacrificing the personalized service of the local community pharmacist”. Yes, indeed, it’s that personal touch we get from those community-oriented employees. Never mind that these wages oftentimes prohibit them from living in the very community they work in.

But that’s just the realities of the free market. We can’t obstruct that which has provided us with so much good. As a reputable, responsible company, they can’t go around paying people community living wages and still benefit from sky high margins that come with pricing well beyond their competitors. Where else can you see discrepancies in prices as high as 40-50% range compared with their competitors?

And it’s indeed the spirit of this free market we so hold dear that brings us the many innovative and life-saving products that now populate today’s Shoppers Drug Mart. Just walking through the doors, consumers are instantaneously greeted with the light aroma of toxic chemicals that pervade their cosmetics and beauty products section. And at one-third of the store’s footprint, you can’t possibly miss it. And what about all the wonderfully processed food that can wait months on shelves for us to purchase them, topped off by a barrage of refined sugar and salt packed confectionery products that together make up a second third of the store.

But be weary of those liberal pinko critics who lambaste such a fine community citizen as Shoppers drug mart. All we need to do is look at the remaining third of the store, spearheaded by a responsible pharmacy with professionals in lab coats meant to put to shame any claim of hypocrisy put forward by those leftist 'nutbars' as my idol Kevin O’Leary would likely put it. Sure, it may be strategically placed so that you have to walk by the high margin beauty products on the way in accompanied by a barrage of advertisements telling you how unhealthy a lifestyle you lead or the high margin addictive salt, sugar and fat products you need to pass on the way out that are linked to one of society’s greatest health epidemics. But that’s beside the point.

What’s important here is that Shoppers Drug Mart is there to provide you with all the health care products you need to cope with the irritated eyes and skin, headache, heart disease, stomach ache, diabetes and obesity that you’ll likely get as you consume the rest of the products in the store.

Ladies and gentlemen, Shoppers Drug Mart is truly a pioneer in the one-stop shopping experience where you can literally start with products laced with cancer-causing chemicals then move on to the processed food aisles, not to fret because you can just pick up the health remedies you need to overcome the onslaught of destruction to your body. Indeed, the free market is really the only mechanism where a company, calling itself a community citizen, can survive by bringing their consumers to the brink of death only to revive them for another round of shopping. After all, who would buy their health products if its own consumers weren’t overwhelmed with addictive products, accompanied by coercive advertising? We can’t have them promoting natural beauty or fresh fruits and vegetables. Where’s the money in that? More importantly, they’d be out of business if they didn't provide us consumers with the products with consequences that guarantee a market for expensive health care remedies.

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