What you need to know

The drug store market has expanded well beyond traditional drug stores to include other channels such as mass merchandisers, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs as well as mail order options that also fulfil consumers’ drug store needs. As such, traditional drug stores have had to refine their models to focus on departments outside of their core areas of strength (medications) such as beauty and personal care and food and drink. US retail sales at drug stores are expected to steadily rise to reach $283.4 billion by 2020. This growth will be fueled by an aging society, a more diverse population, and consumers’ increased interest in improving their health and wellness. Health management options and overall purchase incidences will continue to shift online, and consumers will continue to seek affordable options (such as in-store retail clinics) to obtain healthcare and other drug store needs in light of never-ending escalation of healthcare costs.


For the purposes of this report, Mintel has defined a drug store as a retail store where a primary component of the store is a pharmacy, selling prescription medicine and staffed with a pharmacist. Other categories commonly found at drug stores include over-the-counter medicine, beauty and personal care, household needs, and a limited selection of food. When referring to “drug stores,” this report considers those that are traditional drug stores, not including other retailers with pharmacies such as grocery stores, warehouse clubs, or mass merchandisers. These other retailers are also discussed in the report as locations consumers may shop for drug store needs, yet are not referred to as “drug stores.”

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s The Drug Store Shopper — US, February 2015 as well as the January 2014, 2013, and 2012 versions. It focuses on drug stores, offers sales trends, highlights of what’s working well and areas for improvement, as well as a detailed exploration of consumers’ attitudes, usage, and shopping behaviors in this category.

Back to top