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The Seattle Times reports that when Walgreen completes its $429 million acquisition of Drugstore.com, it plans to “maintain their separate branding, though the company also says that it “intends to enhance its multichannel product assortment and the overall customer experience by leveraging drugstore.com's websites ... The transaction is happening because Walgreens likes what we have built, and they have no intention of tampering with what is working.”

The Times story also notes that it took a year and three offers for Walgreen to finally land Drugstore.com, which has never turned an annual profit.

“The courtship started a year ago when New York investment bank Sonenshine Partners met with Walgreens to discuss general business-development topics, including an online strategy,” the Times reports. “ At the time, Sonenshine also had been working with drugstore.com as an adviser on its vision business.

“Although it was neither a representative of drugstore.com nor under any instructions to discuss drugstore.com with Walgreens, Sonenshine mentioned that it could try to set up a meeting between the two companies, according to drugstore.com. Walgreens expressed an interest, and Sonenshine approached drugstore.com Chief Executive Dawn Lepore.”
KC's View:
It will be interesting to see how long the separate branding strategy lasts. At some point, I suspect, it will make sense to engineer some sort of connection - perhaps in the same way that Ahold has connected its various store banners with Peapod. That seems to be have been a successful model, and could work as one for Walgreen to emulate.