CVS to buy South Florida Hispanic pharmacy chain

CVS Caremark to buy Hispanic chain Navarro Discount Pharmacy in South Florida

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MIAMI (AP) -- CVS Caremark is set to buy a South Florida drugstore chain that has historically catered to Hispanic customers.

CVS announced the agreement to acquire Navarro Discount Pharmacy on Monday after stock markets had closed. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Navarro is the country's largest Hispanic-owned drugstore chain. It has annual sales of more than $340 million. The 33 stores in the chain are located throughout South Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Those outlets will continue to operate under the Navarro Discount Pharmacy name.

"The Navarro brand is one of the most recognizable in the Hispanic marketplace," CVS/pharmacy spokesman Mike DeAngelis said in an email. "We expect to maintain their current product mix and will learn from our Navarro colleagues about Hispanic marketing and merchandising."

The chain has focused on Hispanic consumers with products not found in traditional drugstore chains, such as wireless phones, designer fragrances and a host of ethnic products, chief executive Juan M. Ortiz told The Miami Herald (http://goo.gl/Z2po3D) last year.

"We are a community pharmacy and, as such, we cater to the neighborhoods and businesses around our stores," Ortiz said.

The Navarro family started the business in Havana, Cuba, in 1940. It was relocated to Miami's Little Havana neighborhood in 1961 after the Castro regime confiscated their stores.

CVS Caremark is one of the nation's largest pharmacy chains with 7,600 stores.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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