Chicago Walgreen Co. plans to add beer and wine to its stores, marking a return to a business it exited more than a decade ago.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based drugstore chain expects to roll out the liquor category to stores nationwide in the next 12 to 18 months as part of a broader attempt to drive traffic and boost sales, said Walgreens CEO Gregory Wasson in an earnings conference call Tuesday. Liquor departments have opened at stores in Lincolnshire and Bourbonnais, Ill., the company said.
The return to the liquor business comes as the nation’s largest drugstore looks for ways to return to profit growth. The company is starting to reap the benefits of making over stores, cutting costs and expanding its health care businesses, Wasson said.