Longs Drugs

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Longs Drugs
Fate Acquired by CVS Health in 2008; name retained on stores operating in Hawaii
Founded 1938
Headquarters Woonsocket, Rhode Island (home of parent company CVS Health)
Products Pharmacy, Cosmetics, Health and Beauty Aids, General Merchandise, Snacks, 1 Hour Photo

Longs Drugs is an American chain with approximately 40 drugstores throughout the state of Hawaii.

Before being acquired by CVS Health in 2008, it was a chain of over 500 stores, located primarily on the West Coast of the United States. Besides Hawaii, it had stores located in California, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and was headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.


The first store owned by the Long family was in Covelo, California.

  • Longs Stores was founded in 1938 as Longs Self-Service Drugs, by brothers Thomas and Joseph Long (son-in-law of Marion Barton Skaggs, co-founder of Safeway Inc.), with the opening of their first store on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, California.
  • Longs opens its first store in Hawaii, on March 29, 1954, in Honolulu.
  • Longs first store in a shopping center opens in 1955.
  • In 1971 Longs reports sales of $169 million from its 54 stores. Shares of the company become listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol LDG.
  • Enters the Alaska market in 1977.
  • Enters the Arizona and Oregon markets in 1978.
  • Enters the Nevada market in 1979.
  • In 1982 Longs has 162 stores and exceeds $1 billion in sales.
  • In June 1987 Longs acquires 11 Osco drugstores in California and one in Colorado. They also sell 15 stores in Arizona to Osco.
  • Sales surpass $2 billion for the first time in 1990.
  • In 1993 Longs purchases Bill's Drugs, a 20-store chain located in Northern California, for $23.9 million.
  • In 1995 Longs forms Integrated Health Concepts, a Pharmacy Benefit Management company. They also close their 2 stores located in Alaska.
  • In 1997 Longs and American Drug Stores Inc. (subsidiary of Albertson's Inc. at the time) merge their pharmacy benefit management companies to create RxAmerica, with each company retaining 50% ownership.
  • In July 1998 Longs acquires 20 Drug Emporium stores from Western Drug Distributors, Inc. 18 of the stores were located in western Washington and two in the Portland, Oregon, area.
  • Rite Aid sells Longs 32 stores located in California for $150 million in October 1999.
  • On September 17, 2001, Longs exercised its option to acquire Albertson's interest in RxAmerica and established full ownership of the PBM.
  • In 2003 Bob Long steps down as Chairman and CEO, marking the first time in the history of Longs Drugs that a member of the founding family was not involved in the company.
  • In 2004 Longs acquires Sacramento, California based American Diversified Pharmacies (ADP), a mail order pharmacy.
  • On January 1, 2006, RxAmerica begins offering Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • In June 2006 Longs purchases assets including 21 retail pharmacies, from Network Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The Network pharmacies are located close to the point of care (such as hospitals, clinics, and medical office buildings), and are much smaller than Long's traditional retail stores with an average of approximately 1,100 square feet (100 m2). Longs also announced an agreement to purchase 4 stores from PharMerica, Inc., a subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, that are similar in size.
  • In 2007 Longs closes all 23 stores located in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, citing the limited number of stores and no plans to further develop these markets. They also close 7 stores in California.
  • In 2008, CVS/pharmacy acquires Longs Drugs
  • In 2011, CVS plans to close the 90,000 sq ft (8,400 m2) flagship superstore in Oakland, CA, due to property redevelopment plans.[1]


Longs Drugs.
Storefront of Longs Drugs in South San Francisco, California, USA. Note sign announcing CVS/pharmacy coming soon.

On August 12, 2008, Longs Drugs announced that they were being acquired by CVS Health, the operator of the national CVS/pharmacy chain of drugstores. CVS bought the 521 Longs locations to expand its presence on the West Coast, primarily in California. The acquisition also included access to the Hawaii market. CVS made its first major entry into California with its 2006 acquisition of Southern California-based Sav-On Drugs. CVS Health paid a total of US$2.54 billion to acquire all outstanding shares of Longs Drugs, and hopes to save upwards of $100 million in 2009 and $140–$150 million in 2010 in expenses from synergies attained from the business combination.[2] On September 12, 2008 the Walgreen Co. stepped in with an offer representing a $3.50 per share premium over the cash purchase price offered by CVS.[3] However, Walgreens dropped their offer on October 8, allowing CVS' deal to progress. On October 29, CVS had secured 78.07% of Longs shares, and Longs was merged into CVS the next day on October 30.[4]

Longs in popular culture[edit]

Although a California-based company, Longs had maintained stores in Hawaii long enough to become a local establishment. Its first Hawaii store, in downtown Honolulu, opened March 29, 1954.[5] In 2005, Honolulu Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna published a short-story collection, Folks You Meet in Longs, and Other Stories.[6] It is based on Cataluna's eponymous play which premiered August 2003 at Kumu Kahua Theater.[7]

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, CVS will retain the Longs Drugs name in the Hawaii stores "because of its high name recognition and the geographical separation."[8] Before the merger, CVS had no full-service stores in Northern California or Hawaii.

Hawaii expansion[edit]

In an effort to combat Walgreens' expansion in Hawaii, CVS began a statewide expansion, with many new locations within a mile of an existing Longs Drugs.[9]


  1. ^ "Former Super Longs to close amidst extensive redevelopment plans". The San Francisco Chronicle. March 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "News - BigCharts.com". Bigcharts.marketwatch.com. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Merrick, Amy; Armstrong, David (September 15, 2008). "Walgreen Jumps In With Rival Bid for Longs Drug". The Wall Street Journal. 
  4. ^ "CVS Caremark Successfully Completes Tender Offer for Longs Shares". MarketWatch. October 30, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived January 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ [2] Archived November 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ [3] Archived February 5, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "800 Longs employees to be let go in East Bay". SFGate. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Honolulu Star-Advertiser. "Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaii's business leader. - Isles will see 4 more Longs - Hawaii Business - Honolulu Star-Advertiser". Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Hawaii Newspaper. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 

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