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Hook's Drug Stores
Fate Acquired by Revco
Successor CVS, following acquisition of Revco
Founded 1900
Defunct 1994
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana
Products Pharmacy, Cosmetics, Health and Beauty Aids, General Merchandise, Snacks

Hook's Drug Stores was an Indianapolis, Indiana-based drug store chain which was founded in 1900 by John A. Hook. The chain flourished throughout central Indiana for most of the 20th-century.

Hook's did business under its own banner, the SupeRX Drug Stores banner outside its core market, and the Brooks Pharmacy banner after acquiring the New England pharmacy chain. The entire company was eventually purchased by fellow Midwestern drugstore chain Revco.

Most former Hook's locations that are still open operate as CVS, which bought out Revco in the late 1990s and rebranded their stores as CVS. The Brooks Pharmacy stores were divested by Revco after the purchase; most of them operate as Rite Aid stores.


A typical Hook's store in New Castle, Indiana, in 1974

In October 1900, pharmacist John A. Hook opened the first Hook's Drug Store in an Indianapolis German community at the corner of South East and Prospect Streets. A second location opened at the corner of New Jersey and East Washington Streets and Hook added Edward F. Roesch as a partner.[1] By 1912, the chain had expanded to twelve stores. Many of Hook's interwar drug stores were designed by Kurt Vonnegut Sr. of Vonnegut & Bohn. Roesch became president of the company in 1943 upon Hook's death. In 1956, following Roesch's death in a traffic accident, John Hook's son, August F. “Bud” Hook, assumed leadership of the company. The chain added 150 new stores between 1946 and 1972.[2]

In 1985, The Kroger Company outbid Rite Aid, which had attempted a hostile takeover,[1] and acquired the Hook's chain. Kroger divested itself of Hook's a year later, however, and Hook's became a division of the privately held Hook’s-SupeRx.[2]

Hook's-SupeRx acquired the New England-based Brooks Pharmacy chain in 1988.[3] Hooks-SupeRx stores traded under three different names - Hook's Drug and SupeRx in the Midwest and Brooks Pharmacy in New England. Hook's-SupeRx was acquired by Revco in 1994.[1] Revco was subsequently acquired by CVS in 1997. Many former Hook's locations are now CVS Pharmacies.

A restored 19th-century Hook's drug store stands at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and is a popular attraction at the annual Indiana State Fair. It was originally built in 1849 and has been restored with authentic 19th century cabinets.[1]

Hook's Apothecary[edit]

In 2000, the great-grandchildren of John A. Hook opened Hook's Apothecary in Evansville, Indiana. The store specializes in compounding prescriptions. It has no corporate ties to CVS.

Hook's Oxygen and Medical Equipment[edit]

After Hook's was sold to Revco, the Oxygen and Medical Equipment stores continued under the Hook's name in many of the same locations as before. It is now a subsidiary of Rotech Medical Corporation[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Hook’s Drugs, Inc. and Hook’s American Drugstore Museum". Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Bodenhamer, David J.; Robert Graham Barrows; David Gordon Vanderstel (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. p. 706. ISBN 0-253-31222-1. 
  3. ^ Bodenhamer, David J.; Robert Graham Barrows; David Gordon Vanderstel (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 706–707. ISBN 0-253-31222-1. 
  4. ^ SEC Info - Rotech Medical Corp - 10-K - For 7/31/96 - EX-22.1

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook's_Drug_Stores — Please support Wikipedia.
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2 news items

Seeking Alpha (registration)
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:53:17 -0700

First and foremost, Kroger has already tried its luck in the standalone pharmacy business, owning both SupeRX and Hook's Drug Stores back in the early 1990s. It then divested those assets in 1995; CVS now owns them. Therefore, it is tough to imagine ...


Sun, 20 Jun 2010 05:06:19 -0700

As an architect working in Indiana during the mid-20th century, Vonnegut drew up plans for a number of Art Deco-inflected Indiana Bell offices and Hook's Drug Stores shops. 11. Robert Downey Sr. hasn't appeared in any blockbusters like Iron Man, but he ...

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