Wherever supermarket you may go in the southern United States, chances are, there’s a drug store put up by Jack Eckerd right beside it.
That’s because Eckerd pioneered the self-service retail marketing policy into his drugstore model, and subsequently used his vision and foresight to place all of his drugstores strategically beside successful supermarkets.
Riding on the success and expansion of the supermarket chain in the south, Eckerd successfully expanded his drugstore chain, doubling the size of his business every two years.
Business Leader Jack Eckerd – Following in His Father’s Footsteps…
By the time Jack Eckerd was born on May 16, 1913, his father had already started the Eckerd drug store chain. After a stint in World War II as a transport pilot, the younger Eckerd expanded the existing drugstore chain by acquiring three additional stores in Florida.
Dogged perseverance, astute business sense and a strong entrepreneurial attitude were the main ingredients in Eckerd drug store’s expansion and by 1961, with more than 1,500 stores in place, the Jack Eckerd Corp. went public.
Eckerd later sold off his share of the company, with the chain eventually being acquired by the retail giant J.C. Penney. After a period of time (growing it to a mammoth 2,600 stores), J.C. Penney sold the chain to drug store rivals CVS (which owns the stores from west Florida to Arizona), and Jean Coutou (which became the Eckerd Corporation’s US arm), a Canadian drug store chain that acquired the stores from north Georgia to New York.
All this activity made Jack Eckerd a multi-millionaire and by 1975, his personal finances were estimated to be around $150 million. As with all great business leaders, Eckerd engaged a lot in philanthropic activities, providing aid and grants to several institutions. One of them, the Florida Presbyterian College, changed its name to the Eckerd College after purportedly receiving a $12.5 million contribution.
Successful business leaders have a sense of what they can accomplish, and give all they have into achieving their dream. Jack Eckerd is a perfect example of a great business leader who made use of every opportunity to expand his business and realize his lifelong goal.
The Jack Eckerd Quick Bio
Full Name: Jack M. Eckerd
Birthdate: May 16, 1913 (deceased May 19, 2004)
Birthplace: Willmington, Delaware
Company: Eckerd Corporation
Key business leader success traits: perseverance, great in marketing
Jack Eckerd also tried his hand in politics albeit with less success. He had two unsuccessful attempts running for the governorship of Florida as a Republican. He also unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent.