This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shopping at Walgreens

Because I wrote about shopping at CVS only three weeks ago, you may be wondering why I am now writing about shopping at Walgreens. Do we really want to read about shopping in another large chain store when there are so many local business that are still untapped?
However, Saint Valentine's Day makes me think of Walgreens. No, it is not some kind of love. Or maybe it is. It is the candy. Walgreens celebrates the major candy holidays better than anyone else in Rensselaer. (The major candy holidays, if you are unsure, are Halloween, Christmas, Saint Valentine's Day, and Easter.)

Below is a picture taken on February 6. It shows one side of the aisle, completely filled with candy. The other side may also have had some candy, but was primarily filled with stuffed animals and other Valentine stuff.
Saint Valentine's Day came and went. Some people did buy the $19.99 boxes of chocolates for their sweethearts. And some of us waited, because on Sunday, February 15, all the Valentine merchandise was marked down 50%. Notice that the bottom row is already empty. The store staff is already consolidating.
If your sweetheart is diabetic, you can still buy something. Why not a stuffed animal? Everyone needs more stuffed animals, right?
On February 17th all the candy had been moved to the other side of the aisle and the staff was busy putting out Easter candy.
Here is a completely redundant photograph to illustrate the putting out of Easter candy.
Finally, on February 18 I find what I have been waiting for. Valentine merchandise is now 75% off.
The selection, of course, is rather limited. There are no M&Ms left. But there are still a few Hersey kisses and lots of Palmer chocolate. I am always happy when I find decent chocolate reduced by 75%. (Palmer is not decent chocolate.) Surprisingly, I am also happy when others beat me to the treasures because I know that this candy is really not good for me. (Discounted candy can also have educational uses.)
At 75% off there were still plenty of stuffed animals.
All the Valentine merchandise is on one side of the aisle, and the other side is now stocked with Easter candy. Hey--it is less than two months until Easter. (These stocking decisions seem to be dictated by headquarters. They make no sense to me. Do people really start buying Easter candy a month and a half before Easter?)On February 19, the staff is trying to consolidate more. They move the candy to the end of the aisle and put away the non-perishable items for next year. They also begin to wonder why a strange man keeps coming in to take pictures. I am happy to explain this blog.
On February 20 only the candy is left, and it is on the far end of the aisle. The front end is now being stocked with Easter merchandise.
There are still plenty of people buying candy at 75% off.It is February 21, one week after Saint Valentine's Day and the remaining candy has been moved to a tiny bit of an aisle at the back of the store. Some of this may go to 90% off before it sells--it has in past years. (How do I know this? I have been watching the candy cycle at Walgreens for years.)
Meanwhile, both sides of the aisle in the front of the store are now completely devoted to Easter.
The Valentine stuffed animals have been replaced with Easter stuffed animals. Do you think they are all different, or are some of them the same?After Easter the candy will go to 50% off, but it will stay at that discount much longer than it does after Saint Valentine's Day. Halloween is the next candy holiday, so there is not the same urgency to restock the shelves.

Walgreens built and moved into this building less than ten years ago. It had been for many years in the space that is now occupied by Family Dollar. As a big chain, the merchandise that it carries is very similar to what CVS carries, with the exception of liquor, which CVS carries and Walgreens does not.


Desert Survivor said...

Very nice explanation of the candy cycle in Rensselaer. It is probably good I don't live anywhere near any chain stores and thus have removed myself from the candy cycle--otherwise I would be eating way too much candy. I wonder who I got my sweet tooth from?

30-year refugee said...

i have a love/hate relationship with walgreens. it'd make one hell of a blog.