Monday, December 06, 2010

Happy 120th, Bartell!

In 1890, George Bartell opened the first of his Seattle drugstores, with the policy that they be "conveniently located, amply stocked, clean and attractive."

Now, 120 years and 56 Seattle-area stores later, adherence to his policy remains obvious. Though I wish my closest Bartell (at Broadway and Pike) was more convenient, the stores are indeed amply stocked, tidy, and inviting. Unlike your typical Rite Aid or Walgreens, with their claustrophobic, canyon-like aisles of inventory piled up to the ceiling, Bartell has their stuff neatly displayed on relatively shorter shelves, so you can easily see over their tops and all around their spacious, well-lit stores. Plus, I'm often surprised to find cool little Bigfoot toys and knickknacks there. Most of all though, the regional booster in me is a big fan of local chains. While many such businesses come and go or are bought out by outsiders (hello, Fred Meyer, QFC, the Bon), I love that Bartell has been locally owned and operated all along.

Here's their official site, and a detailed history on Historylink.
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