Happy Harry’s is another Delaware name ready to sail off into the sunset

By the end of this year two names that have been a part of Delaware life for decades will be no more.

It has been well publicized that Wilmington Trust branches will become M&T bank sometime over the summer and early fall. However, another Delaware landmark that was part of a take over by a larger company will also be gone by the end of the year.

Walgreens has decided that now is the time to turn all of the Happy Harry’s drug stores in Delaware into Walgreens. Ten stores have had signs changed so far.

Walgreens bought the chain, which covers parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland in June 2006. All but the Delaware stores were switched to the Walgreens brand.   “We were a little known brand in the region with big shoes to fill,” spokesperson Robert Elfinger said about the need to keep the Happy Harry’s name at the time.

But Elfinger adds that the time for a change now seems right. “As Walgreens built on the reputation of Happy Harry’s over the last five years for high quality service here, we feel it is the right time for the stores to bear the Walgreen’s name,” he added.

The history of Happy Harry’s began in 1962. He changed the name from “Discount Center” to “Happy Harry’s Discount Drugs” when he opened his third store in 1965. Harry’s face is the logo that appears on most stores.

The company’s website says Harry passed away in the late 80’s. His son Alan took over the chain sold the company to the Deerfield, Ill. drug chain. The younger Levin is now the head of the Delaware Department of Economic Development in Governor Jack Markell’s administration.

Soon after Walgreens took over they started introducing their own brand of merchandise, phasing out the Happy Harry’s brand.

Still it is a part of our Delaware history. Take our poll and let us know what you think. Or share a thought about this or other things that make Delaware unique.

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