Penney Sells Eckerd Drug Unit

Plano, TX-based cataloger/retailer J.C. Penney Co. on April 5 agreed to sell its Eckerd drugstore operations to two drugstore chains.

Penney signed definitive agreements with the Longueuil, Quebec-based Jean Coutu Group for the Eckerd stores and support facilities in 13 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states for $3.76 billion, and with CVS Corp. for its southern stores as well as Eckerd’s pharmacy benefits management and mail order businesses, for $2.15 billion.

The sales will allow Penney to focus entirely on our core department store and catalog/Internet business. “Our core business has made tremendous progress over the past three years, with significant improvement in both sales and operating profit,” Penney chairman/CEO Allen Questrom said in a statement, “and we remain confident we will achieve our operating profit goal of 6%-8% of sales in 2005.”