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Osco Drug

Osco Drug
Founded1915 American Falls, Idaho
HeadquartersScottsdale, Arizona
Key peopleJeff Noddle, Chairman and CEO
Mike Jackson, President and COO
Kevin Tripp, R.Ph, Executive Vice President; President, Retail Midwest
ProductsPharmacy, Liquor, Cosmetics, Health and Beauty Aids, General Merchandise, Snacks, 1 Hour Photo
SloganCount on people who care

Osco Drug is a chain of pharmacy stores which operate under Supervalu Pharmacies. Most Oscos currently can be found in Jewel supermarkets. Since 2006, Osco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Supervalu Pharmacies of Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Supervalu. The company at its height operated Osco Drug, Osco Pharmacy, Sav-on Drugs, and Sav-on Pharmacy.




Osco Drug traces its history back to 1915 by S.M. Skaggs in American Falls, Idaho, USA as a cash and carry store. His son Lorenzo L. Skaggs founded the Pay-Less chain in 1937 in Rochester, Minnesota. In 1942, these chains merged with others including the Arizona chain named Thrifty PayLess (distinct from a later chain by that name), and formed the Owners Service Company, shortened to Osco.

The Jewel Companies Inc.

  In 1961, The Jewel Companies Inc. acquired Osco Drug Stores. In 1962, the first side-by-side Jewel and Osco store opened. The early "combo" stores were two separate stores, separated by an interior wall (in some locations, a half-wall), with the ability by the customer to go back and forth between each store without having to go outside. In the early years, many of the "combo" stores maintained different operating hours from one another and on certain days such as holidays, one side of the combo store would be open, while the other would be closed. By the early 1980s new and remodeled combo stores saw the "wall" removed and the store became one, and to this day, Osco retains control over drug, general merchandise, pharmacy and liquor departments in the "combo" stores.



In 1999, Osco Drug became part of the Albertsons family of stores through the merger with American Stores. The drug store division was known as American Drug Stores (ADS) and as Albertsons Drug Stores (ADS) under Albertsons ownership.

In 2002, Albertsons sold its free-standing Osco Drug stores in the northeastern United States to Jean Coutu Group, a Canadian drugstore company. Jean Coutu rebranded the acquired Osco stores as Brooks Pharmacy. In March 2005, Albertsons re-introduced the Osco brand name to the New England region by way of its Shaw's and Star Markets pharmacies. Also in 2002, Albertsons, due to financial difficulties, closed several of its stores across the country including several in the Des Moines, Iowa metro.

2006 Merger

On January 23, 2006, CVS/pharmacy announced its intent to purchase all freestanding Osco locations, and one distribution center in La Habra, California. All of the freestanding stores were converted to CVS/pharmacy. The transaction was completed on June 2, 2006. This did not impact any Osco stores contained within Jewel Food Stores.


As of June 2, 2006, the drug store division is now run under Supervalu Pharmacies and is currently based in Scottsdale, Arizona, although plans are underway to transfer most of the functions to the Melrose Park, Illinois office. Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Supervalu has stated its intention of retaining and expanding the use of both the Osco and Sav-on brand names for use within its own in-store pharmacy network and at select Albertsons and all Acme, Jewel, Shaw's and Star Market locations that contain a pharmacy.

Freestanding Osco Drug and Sav-on Drugs locations were acquired by CVS Corporation. CVS converted the stores to the CVS systems in late 2006. Former Albertsons Savon trucks in California are branded as "CVS Transportation."

Sav-on Drugs

  Sav-on Drugs is a southern California-based retail drug store chain.

In 1980, The Jewel Companies, Inc. purchased Sav-on Drugs. In 1984, American Stores Company, which owned Skaggs Drug Stores in the Rocky Mountain, southwestern, and northwestern states, acquired The Jewel Companies, Inc. and its drug store holdings, including Osco Drug in the Midwest, New England, and the Northwest, and Sav-On Drugs in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

In 1986, American Stores decided that they wanted to have one consistent brand name for their three drug store chains, as part of a strategy to build a nationwide network of pharmacies. Since there were more Osco Drug stores than either of the other two brands, they converted all of the Sav-on Drug Stores and Skaggs Drug Stores to the Osco Drug name. However, the name "Osco" did not resonate well with Sav-on's southern California customer base. American Stores quickly made the decision to change the name of the former Sav-On stores back to Sav-on Drugs, although for several years the stores retained a much smaller Osco banner next to the Sav-On sign. Suggestions that the Osco name was dropped due to its similarity to the Spanish word "asco" (slang for "I vomit") were dismissed by the company as nonsense.[1]


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Osco_Drug". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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