London, what? Western Canada tries to explain popular store to the rest of the country

Dec 5 2022, 7:04 pm

London Drugs has been trending on Twitter in Canada after one user pointed out that the store’s uniqueness makes it challenging to explain to folks that have never visited one.

After starting with humble beginnings in 1945, the first London Drugs opened a 1,000-square-foot community drugstore on Main Street in Vancouver.

London Drugs

Fast-forward to today, and it’s become a familiar retailer in Western Canada. London Drugs stores are open across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

They are so much more than just a drugstore.Ā But what is the perfect way to describe the place you can pick up your prescription and buy a flatscreen TV?

Twitter is trying to figure that out.

Over the weekend, Twitter user A.H. sparked this conversation, which has since garnered thousands and likes and prompted hundreds of comments.

“Trying to explain London Drugs to anyone who has not lived in Vancouver is difficult. There are no similar stores in Canada,” her tweet reads.

A.H. added suggestions of explanations like, “It’s a drug store… BUT it also sells computers, cameras, kitchen appliances, and some furniture… and develops photos,” but added the description, “is just not credible.”

She even proposed describing London Drugs as “a crossover between Shoppers [Drug Mart] and Best Buy?”

Or, “Imagine a smaller version of Future Shop… but you can get prescription drugs and makeup there.”

Many users chimed in with their own explanations as well.

One user referenced a recent craze London Drugs customers went wild over — a statue of a banana that has been peeled back to reveal a duck’s head. The figure was called a Duckana and was part of a collection by London Drugs.

“How did this company even develop its odd category-defying mix of goods and services? A.C. asked. “The idea that people would want to buy a TV or a kitchen-aid mixer while they wait for their birth control meds to be filled seems like such a bad business idea. Yet, it works!”

London Drugs president and COO Clint Mahlman told Daily Hive this is not the first time people have discussed how unique the retailer is.

“We’ve often seen customers from either outside of Canada, eastern Canada and the US talk about it in this kind of unique and fun way. So we’re very humbled by that they would think of us in those terms,” he said.

“Many people have tried to define that which is part of our secret to success.”

While Western Canadians are still figuring out the right words to describe the store, there seems to be little debate on how much of a cherished staple the store is to those with access to one.

How would you describe London Drugs to someone that’s never seen one before?

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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