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Skillern Drug Store

Posted by Steven 
Skillern Drug Store
May 04, 2002 09:10PM
In the late 1970's, I remember going to Skillern's Drug Store at Casa Linda Plaza with my dad. I wonder what happened to Skillern's. When did this chain store stop to exist? Because of Eckerd's?
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 08:23AM
When Ray Skillern died, the drug chain was acquired by Zale Corp and operated as a separate division for many years.
It never was a high margin operation like the jewelry chain; but it was a real cash cow that helped keep things going. For years, Zales tried to help it improve its margins but they kept getting smaller and more complicated due to all the regulations.
The deciding stroke was in the late 70's when the Skillern Pharmacists picketed the Zale headquarters (at that time it was the 19-story building where Mobil is now west of Stemmons and south of Mockingbird. I was in a management meeting in the 18th floor board room that day when the family made the decision to liquidate the division while watching the pickets below.
In the months ahead, most of the stores were sold to a nation-wide discount chain whose name was familiar for the next decade before they folded; but I forget what the name was.
Drug stores are very difficult to operate profitably even today. Eckerd's has done better than most at keeping costs down and finding innovative ways to accomodate all the regulations.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 08:47AM
A free triple did ice cream cones or a milk shake when you bought your school supplies at Skillerns.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 12:10PM
I had forgotten that. Was'nt there a Skillerns on the SW corner of Clarendon and Hampton before that auto parts store went in. Bill Strouse
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 01:31PM
Bill, at one time there were over a hundred Skillern Drug Stores. As I remember, there was one where you mention.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 03:16PM
The Skillern's at Clarendon and Hampton was the primary school supply source for just about everyone in that area, until Page's opened in the Heights Shopping Center. Page's was a couple of miles southwest, but took a lot of business away from that Skillern's. And, the new place also had a fantastic soda fountain that also offered freebies if the school supplies were purchased there. ....Fred
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 05:28PM
At my school (F.P.Caillet in the 50s), you had to have a cigar box for your school supplies. They always came from Skillern's. (The one up by NW Highway and Lemmon)
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 05:31PM
The cigar box to hold your Aladdin supplies. Oh how I yearn for the aroma of old tempra paints and dried up water colors........NOT.
I don't know about boys but girls always found trinkets and things that weren't supposed to go in those cigar boxes.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 07:37PM
Surely I'm not the only one to have a "ditty bag" made from the cut-off legs of old jeans, or worse yet for a boy, from an old floral pillowcase.
M C
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 05, 2002 07:56PM
In the late40s-early50s, we boys in elementary school carried everything in our 'packs'. These were actual WW II US Army packs that were either bought at the Army-Navy Store or had been brought home by dads who had been in the Army.
These were obviously the forerunners of the backpacks that are used so commonly today by kids to carry their school supplies and books.
In the spring and summer, the packs were often filled with green chinaberries for the neighborhood chinaberry fights. .......Fred
In the 1920's, several of the largest homes in the new Kessler Park subdivision of northern Oak Cliff were built by the Skillern Family. The widow of the founder built a large Tudor style home on the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Montclair. Her daughter lived next door along with a Skillern grandson, future Dallas Mayor Bobby Folsom. Rae Skillern built his own grand home up the hill and around the corner, on Colorado Blvd. at Lausanne. The Skillerns were solid members of Oak Cliff Methodist Church. A new parsonage for the church was built next door to Rae's new mansion.
Bill V
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 07, 2002 10:06PM
My family traded at Midway Pharmacy (near Merrell
Rd). We had an account there where we charged
items, and were billed monthly.
We also traded at the Rexall store located at
Royal and Webb Chapel, it was a video rental
store last time I looked.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 13, 2002 08:49AM
I remember when I lived in this area a previous time, in Plano. There was a Skillern's at 18th and Ave. K next to the Safeway. I don't remember us having to go in there much. Later, while living in east Texas, about 1978, I was shocked (after only seeing local druggists serving the town) to see a new Skillern's go up in Jacksonville. I didn't think something I remembered from Dallas (other than Safeway) would ever be a part of the retail landscape there. The Jacksonville one benefited from not having any pharmacy competition in the other parts of the shopping center (at the time, the Wal-Mart and the Winn-Dixie in that center didn't have pharmacies; they both left later and then established pharmacy services in their respective new locations). It was a newer design with no soda fountain; more like what you see now with a "convenience store" atmosphere, and the pharmacy section was in the left front corner of the store.
When Skillern's no longer operated there, it became a Revco (probably the forgotten chain name brought up by one of the other posters). I had never heard of them before but they seemed to make a fair go of things. I later moved away to Amarillo and they had Revcos there too. While there, I heard of the news that Eckerd would acquire all (or maybe most) of the Dallas area Revcos (the Amarillo ones just closed). This included the Jacksonville store, which by then had moved down the street to a newer center that Winn-Dixie had moved to. Eckerd's has since moved out to a freestanding building closer to downtown near the big hospital there. A video rental place went in Skillern's old spot for a while till Blockbuster opened down the street, then the other video place closed. Now the Skillern's spot is an all-you-can-eat Chinese food place.
I haven't been by the shopping center at 18th and Ave. K in Plano for a while but I know their old Skillern's spot isn't a drug store.
I wonder how much longer Skillern's would have lasted if it had still existed after the time of Zale's decision. With Eckerd's and Walgreen's here, and CVS coming in, many corners are getting snapped up. Zale's (or any succeeding owner/s) would have had to invest a lot more in location planning and maintenance/renovation of existing stores; I remember Zale's later getting into deep debt during the 80s. They probably couldn't have operated Skillern's effectively while being crushed financially like that.
Free ice cream with school supplies....ahh, the things I missed out on. I guess the only real local soda fountain treat I've found recently is a chocolate malt a few years ago at Highland Park Pharmacy. I still can't tell you how good it was.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 13, 2002 08:57AM
Remember there was also Wards Cut-Rate Drugs in Dallas too.
And, speaking of soda fountains, I notice Coke is getting ready to market a Vanilla Coke. Now if they'd just do a lime Coke most of the variations from soda fountain days would be complete.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 13, 2002 05:06PM
John, you are right on at least two counts:
1. It was Revco to which Zales sold Skillerns.
2. In hard times, companies have little choice than to spin off marginal operations.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
May 14, 2002 12:29AM
I didn't ever go into a Ward's but I remember their print ads, especially when they sold out to Eckerd's (their first Dallas stores) in the early 70s. At the bottom of the ad the Ward's logo in a circle was shown with an Eckerd's logo also in a circle, nudging itself in front of Ward's logo on the right side.
I also remember hearing at the same time of Ward's Cut-Rate Liquors but I guess they were sold or disappeared when the drug stores were sold.
Re: Skillern Drug Store
April 30, 2004 08:05PM
Hampton and Clarendon? Are you sure that it wasn't Westmoreland and Clarendon? I remember going to that SKillerns with my Grandmother who lived in the area. And yes, I do remember those triple dip cones if you bought your school supplies there. Does anyone remember Pages Rexall Drugs located at Westmoreland and Falls drive? Mr. Page used to give customers a free giant limeade or leomonade for buying your school supplies there.
Wow....the memories!
Re: Skillern Drug Store
April 30, 2004 08:11PM
Oh my goodness! Yes, I remember Wards Cut-Rate Drugs. There was a big store at the corner of Hampton and Illinois as one of the original tenants of the Hampton-Illinois Center. My folks used to shop there too. But most of the time, Mother had prescriptions filled at Page's Rexall in the Heights SHopping Center because 1) she could charge her purchases 2) they delivered and 3) they gave S&H Green Stamps!
Re: Skillern Drug Store
April 30, 2004 11:12PM
The Skillern's store on the southwest corner of Hampton and Clarendon was built about 1941. At that time I was a third grader at Cowart and was a participant in some sort of junior fire marshal program in which school children would find and correct fire hazards around the neighborhood. They would then fill out and submit a form describing the fire hazard. After a certain number of these were submitted by an individual, he (occasionally, she) would receive a very nice badge proclaiming the wearer to be a Junior Fire Marshal ( or some such title). Anyway, back to the point. The Skillern's store mentioned above was built during the cold winter months and the roof was completed before the foundation was poured. One bitter cold day, as I walked by the construction site, I spotted a group of workers huddled around a small fire they had built on the dirt floor, underneath the roof. Under the authority vested in me by the badge I had pinned to my coat , I entered the group and insisted that they douse that fire forthwith and use the approved method of spreading and covering the ashes with dirt. I don't remember their exact phrasing used to reject my orders, but if you talked that way these days to a kid, he would probably have you arrested for child abuse. I later had a problem in that store when I got my little brother's head caught in the one-way turnstile in the entrance. At that time, Clarendon and Westmoreland was practically in the country. The Skillern's at Hampton and Clarendon became an auto store in the early 50's.
And the Skillerns in the Wynnwood Shopping Center. I remember going in there With my Great-Grand-Mother. We'd get a "Soda" from the Fountain that used to be in there. Sit down at the Bar and get a shake/malt or Dr. Pepper. I was about 4 years old or so...! Then changed to an Eckerds.
Yes the Memories!!
Randy
It's still an Eckerds..........
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