Rexall Drug and Chemical Company stock certificate 1960's (drug store chain)
Neat collectible certificate. Great vignette of two classical male figures flanking the framed company logo. Issued and cancelled. Dated 1970's.
Rexall is a chain of American drugstores, and the name of their store-branded products. The stores, having roots in the federation of United Drug Stores starting in 1903, licensed the Rexall brand name to as many as 12,000 drug stores across the United States from 1920 to 1977. (The "Rex" in the name came from the common Rx abbreviation for drug prescriptions.)
In 1903, Louis K. Liggett persuaded 40 independent drug stores to invest $4,000 in a retailers' cooperative called United Drug Stores, which sold products under the Rexall name. After World War I, the cooperative established a franchise arrangement whereby independently owned retail outlets adopted the Rexall trade name and sold Rexall products.
The Rexall SAMIR Train of March to November 1936 toured the United States and Canada to promote Rexall drug store products, and to provide the equivalent of a national convention for local Rexall druggists without the cost of travel. Free tickets for locals to see displays of Rexall products were available at local Rexall drug stores.
Justin Whitlock Dart, formerly of the Walgreens drugstore chain, took control of Boston-based United Drug Company in 1943. The chain operated under the Liggett, Owl, Sonta, and Rexall brands, which Dart rebranded under the Rexall name. Rexall gained national exposure through its sponsorship of two famous classic American radio programs of the 1940s and 1950s. Shows were often opened by an advertisement from an actor (Griff Barnett) portraying "your Rexall family druggist", and included the catch phrase "Good health to all from Rexall." They also sponsored the Jimmy Durante Show and there are references by the character Mr. Peavey in some of The Great Gildersleeve radio shows.
In 1946, United-Rexall Drug Inc. purchased the Renfro chain in Texas, and Lane Drug Stores which had 58 stores throughout the Southeast. It also launched the Owl Superstores chain. In 1947, the company held a gala opening for their new headquarters and first store in Los Angeles, California. The new Hollywood Owl was reported in Life Magazine as 'the World's Biggest Drugstore'. In 1958, the Rexall Drug Company was the largest U.S. drug store franchise, with 11,158 stores.
Dart sold his stake in Rexall in 1978. Dart had acquired stakes in West Bend, Duracell, Hobart Corporation, Tupperware, Ralph Wilson Plastics, and Archer Glass, which were collectively known as Dart Industries. By the late 1950s, Rexall's business model of unitary franchised stores, with each store owned independently by the local pharmacist, was already coming under attack by the discount chains, such as Thrifty Drug and Eckerd. By 1977, the value of the Rexall business had deteriorated to the point that it was sold to private investors for $16 million. The investors divested the company-owned stores, though existing franchise retailers were able to keep the Rexall name.
In the early 1980s, Rexall, headed by Howard K. Vander Linden, a third-generation Rexall employee, was the subject of a hostile takeover by an organization headed by Larry Brown. The company almost immediately slid into decline. Sundown, a maker of sunscreens, acquired the Rexall trademark in 1985 and continued to produce nutritional supplements and remedies under the new name Rexall-Sundown, with no relationship to the remaining chain of Rexall drugstores. Numico acquired Rexall Sundown in 2000. Numico split up the Rexall divisions and divested them in 2003, selling the name Rexall-Sundown to NBTY, a US vitamin company, and the Unicity Network division was to be sold to Activated Holdings, a privately held company. The deal fell through and Unicity Network was sold to its management.