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Rexall

Rexall was the name of a chain of North American drugstores, as well as the name of their store-branded products. Today it is the name of over-the-counter drugs in Canada and health-supplements in the United States.

Founding
In 1902 Louis Liggett persuaded 40 independent drug stores to invest $4,000 in a retailers cooperative called United Drug Stores, which began to sell products under the Rexall name. After World War I, the cooperative established a franchise whereby independently owned retail outlets adopted the Rexall trade name, and sold Rexall products. The company was based in Boston, Massachusetts at what is now on the campus of Northeastern University.

Growth
Justin Whitlock Dart, heir to the Walgreen's Drugstore chain, took control of Boston-based United Drug Company in 1943. The chain operated under Liggett, Owl, Sonta, and Rexall brands, which Dart rebranded the stores under the Rexall name.

In 1946, United-Rexall Drug Inc. purchased the Renfro chain in Texas. It also launched a chain of what were called Owl Superstores. As of 1958, the Rexall Drug Company chain was the largest U.S. drug store chain, with 11,158 stores, which Time Magazine noted that 2/3 of its stores were in areas where 1/3 of the population lived. However, this comprised more than 20% of all drug stores in the United States.

Dart sold his stake in Rexall in 1978 though Dart had acquired stakes in Avon, West Bend, Duracell, Hobart, and Ralph Wilson Plastics and Archer Glass, which were collectively Dart Industries (later Premark International).

Decline
In 1977, the Rexall chain was sold to private investors for $16 million. The investors divested the stores, though existing retailers were able to keep the name. However, these tended to be weaker stores, and very few kept the name as time progressed. The company did continue to distribute vitamins, health foods, and plastic items.

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