Drugstores, Including Walgreens and CVS, Are Closing Locations, Starting Saturday
Rite Aid recently shuttered a handful of stores as well.
If you rely on a drugstore for your prescriptions or daily necessities, chances are you wouldn't be thrilled to find out it's closing. Some of us have our go-to local spots, while others prefer chains like CVS and Walgreens, which cater to millions of Americans every day. But now, both nationwide chains and smaller operations are closing up shop. Read on to find out more about the latest drugstore closures, starting this weekend.
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A Walgreens is closing in Massachusetts.
A Walgreens store in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is closing next week, The Berkshire Eagle reported. The pharmacy—which is still known by locals as "Melvin's" (the previous name for the drugstore)—will see its final day on May 2.
Marty Maloney, senior manager of media relations for Walgreens, told The Berkshire Edge that the pharmacy chain is looking to establish "the right network" of stores.
"As Walgreens expands as a leader in healthcare, we are focused on best meeting the needs of patients and customers in communities we serve by creating the right network of stores in the right locations," Maloney said. "When faced with the difficult task of closing a particular location, several factors are taken into account, including things like the dynamics of the local market and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers, for example."
Best Life reached out to Walgreens for comment on the closure, but has not yet heard back.
CVS is actively closing locations, too.
CVS also has a location on the chopping block. Come May 22, customers in Orlando's College Park neighborhood will say farewell to the local CVS, Orlando Business Journal reported. The impending closure is the second for the Orlando area, as another CVS closed in the city on April 12.
"Maintaining access to pharmacy services in the communities we serve is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions," Matt Blanchette, senior manager for retail communications for CVS, told the outlet about the closing College Park location. "Other factors include local market dynamics, population shifts, a community's store density, and ensuring there are other geographic access points to meet the needs of the community."
Last week, a CVS in The Woodlands, Texas, also closed, a spokesperson confirmed to Community Impact. Amy Thibault, lead director of external communications for CVS Pharmacy, provided similar reasons for the closure, confirming that prescriptions would be moved to a nearby CVS and all employees would be offered "comparable roles within the company."
Best Life reached out to CVS about the closures, but has not yet heard back.
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An iconic local drugstore is exiting as well.
After 71 years, Butt Drugs—which is known for its offbeat name—is closing for good, Louisville Business First reported. The local spot will close ahead of the CVS and Walgreens stores, with its last day slated for this Saturday, April 29.
Katie Butt Beckort, a third-generation owner of the drugstore, told Louisville Business First that the store was forced to make the call due to losses and a lack of reimbursement for medication.
"We've taken a loss for years," she said. "We've had great years, but in the last 10 years, we've had a lot more bad than we've had good. My accountant this year said, 'Do you think you can make it one more year?' And we hashed it out, and I said, 'No, I don't think I could actually make it to the fourth quarter.'"
The surrounding community will certainly feel the loss: Butt Beckort told Louisville Business First that Butt Drugs caters to anywhere between 8,000 and 10,000 people in the area. Many customers have asked Butt Beckort to close the pharmacy portion of the business and operate as an ice cream store, but the owner said, "That's not what put Butt Drugs on the map."
Butt Beckort isn't sure what will come next for the drugstore, but confirmed that all customers' prescriptions will be transferred to a nearby CVS on May 1.
Rite Aid recently shuttered locations.
Over the past several weeks, Rite Aid also closed two stores—one in Coldwater, Michigan, and one in La Grande, Oregon, both on April 20, news outlets reported.
In a statement to Best Life, a spokesperson for Rite Aid said that the decision to close is something the company "takes very seriously," also considering factors like store performance, lease and rent, and local business conditions.
"Like all retail businesses, we regularly review each of our locations to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers, communities and overall business," the spokesperson said.
All prescriptions will be transferred to another Rite Aid or nearby pharmacy, the spokesperson confirmed, and the company also "strives to transfer associates to other Rite Aid locations where possible."