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The Rexall Story

A History of Genius and Neglect

The Rexall Story by Mickey C. Smith
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In the second half of the twentieth century, 20 percent (10,000) of all retail druggists were Rexall druggists. Now there are none, and this book explains why!

The Rexall Story: A History of Genius and Neglect shows how a brilliant and successful business/pharmacy venture was allowed to fail through carelessness and an inattention to the original formula of the company. From the celebrated genius of Louis Liggettwho started United Drug in 1903to the business’s demise nearly 75 years later, this significant text will provide you with new insight into the pharmacy industry.

With The Rexall Story, pharmacists, pharmacy and business educators, and historians alike can see how Louis Liggett single-handedly transformed the retail drug business using innovative business practices and policies. Author Mickey C. Smith, editor of the Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Economics and principal author and editor of the seminal book Pharmaceutical Marketing: Principles, Environment and Practices, uses his expertise to explain how Louis Liggett’s techniques were so successful in the industry. This book explores in detail his communication and merchandising skills, his principles in doing business, and his revolutionary techniques for keep his business prosperous.

Using internal documents, photographs, and direct quotes from radio promotions, and the recollections of former Rexall employees, this book chronicles Rexall’s story, including:
  • the beginnings of Rexallits origins and expansion, International Rexall Clubs, and the unparalleled efforts of Liggett and his franchisees
  • the Dear Pardner letters (1903-1923)unprecedented in Big Business even today, these were personal letters between Liggett and his people
  • the Rexall familyconversations and correspondence with former Rexallites, capturing how the retirees felt about the company before and after its downfall
  • the acquisition and marketing of the products of the Rexall Drug Companyincluding medicinal products, candy, water, cigars, stationery, and toiletries, among others
  • price considerations for both the drug store owner and his customersstore brands and the Rexall One Cent Sale
  • the distribution of Rexallmoving supplies, channel relationships, training courses, and conventions
  • record-breaking promotional ideasRexall Ad-Vantages and other printed media, radio shows such as Rexall’s Parade of Stars and Rexall’s Magic Hour, The Phil Harris/Alice Faye Show, and The Rexall Train
In this intriguing work of Americana, you’ll see how a pioneering drug salesman turned a dream into what was at one time the largest retail drug chain in the country. Yet this is also the story of that dream’s demise, that shows howunder the authority of Justin Dartthe original concept of Rexall unraveled until the franchises were all canceled, leaving little but a name and memories.
CRC Press; October 2004
228 pages; ISBN 9781439807033
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Title: The Rexall Story
Author: Mickey C. Smith
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