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Sav-on Fun Facts







Sav-on Drugs Fun Facts

• Pioneers of the retail business

• "Serve Yourself and Save the Difference"

• We were the Wal-Mart of the 50's & 60's

• The slogan “A GREAT Place to Shop” pre-dated the slogan “Count on People Who Care” and was used in all advertising.

• Fair prices, but great customer service!! Our focus from the beginning

• We were the Cadillac of the Drug Store Business

• Best of the West

• We invented mentoring we grew our Managers from the ground up

50's & 60 's

• The weekly radio special went into effect in the 60’s. It was always accompanied by the Sav-on jingle . . . “Sav-on, Sav-on, join the Sav-on hit parade, it’s fun to serve yourself and save at Sav-on Drug Stores, Sav-on Drug Stores . . . .BOOM-BOOM . . . Sav-on!”

• In 1956, we opened our first store in Orange County, where the #5 Freeway ended, at Euclid avenue in Anaheim.

• Disneyland opened in July 1955

• All weekly “as advertised” signs printed centrally and distributed via tote box

• 3 candy bars for 10 cents

• Every store had an Ice Cream department-

• In 1950, ice cream cones were 4 cents and 8 cents, hand packed was 25 cents/pint and 49 cents/qt.

• We hand packed pints and quarts all day long!!!

• It was an agonizing decision in 1954 to raise the price to 5 cents/10 cents. and to 29 cents and 59 cents for hand packed ice cream. . . . . customers were upset about the increase.

• Half gallons were 55 cents for the square and 69 cents for the round.

• In the early 50’s, our only ice cream supplier was Carnation. It wasn’t until 1956 that we finally decided to give Arden a try. . . every other new store alternated from store to store between Arden and Carnation Ice Cream.

• We also sold nuts, popcorn, and hot-fudge sundaes We had to wear paper hats!

• We made Icee successful

• Pink, white & blue uniforms...always 1 person wearing the wrong color!

50's & 60 's

• In the early 50’s, Kotex and Modess needed to be individually wrapped with plain grey butcher paper/scotch taped, in the back room before stacking on the shelves. . . didn’t want to offend anybody. ??

• We tested Fast-food "Sav-On Burgers" in South Gate, Downey, and Buena Park

• A movie matinee was 10cents!

• Gas was 26 cents a gallon

• We sold Goldfish and Tropical Fish

• Parakeets: Gordon Rager mighty hunter, catching parakeets 200 escaped in the Monterey Park store

• Baby alligators- Norwalk store: This was well before General Liability claims

• Free gift wrap and Lay away at Christmas

• $5.00 holds anything till Dec._ 24th

• 1000 cases of toys received, marked on the street, and put out on the night crew on top of every aisle with metal overheads.

• But that was only after we finally decided to change from wooden overheads and buy aluminum in the 60’s, they were a whole lot easier to put up and store each Christmas season!

• We covered the backstock on the sidewalk with a tarp!

• Remember the wheel goods? Boys’ and girls’ bikes, layaway pickup on Christmas eve, wrong bike a girls instead of boys!

• Remember the 66-cent toy sale the day after Thanksgiving?

• We were the number one toy retailer at Christmas

• Blue chip stamps- stamp booth where you answered the phone

• Dress- crepe dresses, starch uniforms, gray jackets

• Long sleeve gold sport coat-You earned your sleeves

• Everyone had the SAME FIRST NAME: Mr.

• It took forever to make store manager!

• Every item in the store was ordered by control card

• In 1961-62, we tested a new thing called “BankAmericard” in our Newport Beach store . . . next door to a Bank of America. We thought it was great to have 10-15% of our sales devoted to this new credit card. . . . .handwritten up by cashiers on duplicate forms. . . .Finally went chain wide with it.

• Line of communication: Green, brown, white bulletin

• Code #3 phone communications

• Inventory: we counted everything manually

• Remember the "Timex Towers"

• The Zippo lighters

• Cross Pens

• Remington or Norelco?

• Replacement blades for both

More Amazing Memories

• Sav-on Drugs was the largest retailer of cosmetics in So California in the 60’s and 70’s…..Source LA Times “Last Place Purchased” poll. This is something Dee Gardner and the entire company was especially proud of…..

• There was an entire store of everything in the back room

• Shipments took 3 weeks to receive

• Quick marks, monarch machines, pin ticket machines

• all manual No Baler: Trash Rooms-We had to stomp the cardboard

• Pony express payroll-Stores brought their timecards from one store to another on Mondays

• Full time Marking girl or guy in every store

• 2Full Time receivers

• 4 Full Time cosmeticians

• 4 Full Time Ice Cream Dippers

• We sold Bikes, wagons, scooters, etc

• At Christmas all work was done by the Sav-on associates-We hired lots of Seasonal help...that's how most of us started...it was just a Xmas job!

• The cash deposit was counted in the office

• Each day the bookkeeper rolled all the excess coin like a bank

• We had to answer every phone call-No JVR

• No Pharmacy in and out window

• The pharmacist was 1 foot higher than the customers

• We bagged every Prescription, and they were paid for upfront we hoped!

• The first direct Doctor line into the Pharmacy

• Prescriptions were first priced off the pricing wheel and later price card attached to each stock bottle

• Prescriptions billed to insurance – we filled out by hand the Universal Claim Form

• Remember the Dr's Discount? When we cancelled it?

• In addition to Drs. Discounts, a few stores had doctor credit, and hand wrote invoices of Dr. & Dr. wife purchases on charge slips.

• Dress code for the Pharmacists has never really changed!

• Drug retriever was the first "technology" in the Pharmacy

• In 1969, our VP of Pharmacy, Dr. Carl Vitalie, was appointed to the California State Board of Pharmacy . . .the first chain drug store member of that 5-member board.

• Every RX label was typed by hand on a manual typewriter

• Remember the "Ice Cream Cone Prescription?"

• Every Store Manager was a Man

• We waxed every shelf with Jubilee wax till the bottle slid like magic

• Every Manager used a glass cutter to "glass" every shelf on every table

• Old cash registers with gear shifters and cranks for power failures

• Key-rec 's were used in Receiving

• Remember the old alarm "tape" on the windows?

Merchandi