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Published January 29, 2019
Published January 29, 2019
Photo: via Peterpopp

Over the last few years, drugstores have upped their beauty game. Transformations have included higher-priced brands, new partnerships (for example Walgreens and Birchbox), dedicated beauty team members, and upgraded fixtures. These days, the beauty aisles at Walgreens and CVS look more like mini Sephoras than drugstores.

Some regional pharmacy chains are taking note and emulating this model.

Bartell Drugs, a Seattle-based company, is the oldest family-owned drugstore chain in the country. With 68 stores throughout the Puget Sound region, the company’s vision is to “celebrate the power of caring, kindness, and choice.”

Under the leadership of CEO Kathi Lentzsch, who has been at the helm of the company for a year, “choice” is being implemented in the beauty aisles, as the chain recently added three prestige brands to give its customers a wider array of products and price points. Under the directive of Senior Beauty Buyer David Bradley, Alchimie Forever, Hey Honey, and Institut Arnaud are now available, complementing the traditional drugstore brands such as L’Oréal and Neutrogena. In addition to expanding to more prestige brands, Bartell Drugs has also expanded product categories, introducing a number of CBD products under the brands Shikai, Charlotte’s Web, CV Science, and more.

As the worlds of beauty and wellness continue to blend, and the link between pharmacy and skincare continues to strengthen, it will be interesting to see if other regional drugstore chains (such as CARE Pharmacies, KERR, Lewis Drugs, or more) embrace this philosophy of choice. After all, many women who walk into a drugstore every day also invest $50 and more in their beauty products. So why not give them the choice of doing it all under one roof?!


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