Shoppers Drug Mart was founded in 1962 by founder Murray Koffler. Before the company’s inception, Koffler inherited two family-owned pharmacies, Koffler’s Drugs. Over time, these two pharmacies grew to 17 and were renamed Shoppers Drug Mart.
Koffler gave the 20th century pharmacy concept a major overhaul. Among the major changes that he implemented in his pharmacies were the removal of the soda fountain and placing more emphasis on the dispensary. He also required all pharmacists working at the stores to wear white coats (starched) as a symbol of professionalism.
In the middle part of the 1950s, Shoppers Drug Mart started to acquire several drug stores, which it then organized into a franchise concept. With this franchise concept, “associates” can own, as well as operate pharmacies within Shoppers Drug Mart’s system and share in the profits. By 1968, there were 52 Shoppers Drug Mart stores in Ontario alone. The 52 stores were made possible because of a merger with Plaza Drugstores, which owned 33 stores.
In 1970, Shoppers Drug Mart bought a hundred Cunningham Drug Stores in Alberta and British Columbia. Two years after, the first Pharmaprix pharmacy was opened in Quebec. In 1974, Shoppers Drug Mart. acquired 26 Lord’s Supervalue Pharmacies.
In 1983, upon Koffler’s retirement, the company was sold to Imperial Tobacco, also known as IMASCO. In 1986, the company bought Pindar Stores, a 10 drug-store chain. All Pinder stores became Shoppers Drug Mart. In 1995, the company bought 24 branches of Bi-Rite Drug Stores in the western part ofCanada. In the same year, the company acquired 135 branches of Big V Drugstores. A year later, in 1996, the company opened its first Shoppers Home Healthcare store.
In 2000, Shoppers Drug Mart was sold to another owner, this time a consortium of investors, which include Bain Capital Inc. and CIBC Capital Partners. Under its new owner, Shoppers Drug Mart became a Public company. Today, Shoppers Drug Mart is recognized as Canada’s biggest chain of pharmacies. It operates more than a thousand stores under Shoppers Drug Mart Banner, as well as two stores under the Pharmaprix banner.
Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
Ownership Type: Public
Employees: Information not available
Demography: Retail drug, health and grocery products