Drugstores Including CVS Are Closing Locations, Starting Dec. 23
Pharmacy options will be dwindling in multiple communities this winter.
Drugstores are vital year-round, but perhaps never more essential than during the winter, as shoppers search for various medications to battle seasonal viruses and allergies. But you might want to make sure that your go-to pharmacy will still be open when you need it. Several drugstores including CVS are planning to make closures across the U.S. in the coming weeks, reducing the number of locations available to customers this winter. Read on to find out where drugstores are closing, starting Dec. 23.
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Several major drugstores have been closing locations.
Between medication shortages and recent pharmacy closures, many people across the country are struggling.
Drugstore shutdowns have been a consistent feature of 2022. Back in May, Rite Aid closed two of its locations in the greater Sacramento area, and then the next month, shut down another West Coast store in Portland, Oregon.
And in November, these popular drugstore chains were joined by their rival, Walgreens, which started cutting stores in states like New York and Kentucky.
Now, CVS is continuing the trend of declining drugstore locations, and other lesser-known companies are also saying goodbye to stores.
CVS is closing another store in the coming weeks.
Another CVS store was just put up on the chopping block. The company is planning to close its location on Central Avenue in Albany, New York, local NBC-affiliate station News Channel 13 reported. According to the news outlet, this CVS store will close its doors permanently on Jan. 12.
Best Life reached out to CVS about the Albany closure, but has not yet heard back.
Nearby drugstore Central Avenue Pharmacy told News Channel 13 it is welcoming customers of this soon-to-be shuttered CVS store to its pharmacy. "We've been hiring and getting training up to make sure we have enough staff to handle patients coming in, and we're excited," said Sarah Walton, the director of pharmacy operations at Central Avenue Pharmacy.
Walton added, "It's stressful for a lot of patients. The thought of switching pharmacies can be very daunting, especially when you have patients that have a lot of medication. But we've done our best with estimating the number of patients that we think we can be getting with this closing."
Another drugstore is planning to shutter a location even sooner.
CVS is one of several drugstore companies in the U.S. planning closures. The first store closing will actually be the Swift Drug Company in Selma, Alabama, the Selma Times-Journal reported on Dec. 2. According to the newspaper, this pharmacy has been open to Selma residents for 106 years, but the century-old drugstore will close for good on Dec. 23.
William P. Swift III, who has owned and operated the Swift Drug Company since 1972, told the Selma Times-Journal that he has decided to close the drugstore after recently undergoing a necessary health surgery.
"The doctor told me it would be a two-month recovery period and I decided it was time to close the store. I can't be out that long. That's what made me decide that I need to close down at this point and time," Swift said, noting that he sold his prescription inventory to Walgreens.
The Rhoads Hallmark and Gift Shop—known until 2018 as the Rhoads Pharmacy and Gift Shop—in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, is also closing soon, PennLive recently reported. According to the news outlet, this drugstore will permanently close its doors on Jan. 31 after nearly five decades in business.
"It's time for us to retire," 85-year-old Dave Lutz, who owns the store with his wife Jeanne Lutz, told PennLive.
CVS and Rite Aid are in the middle of mass closures.
While there have been several isolated drugstore closures throughout the year, at least two well-known companies have announced that they're taking a more widespread approach.
Back in Nov. 2021, CVS revealed plans to annually close 300 stores nationwide for the next three years. "The company has been evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business," CVS said at the time.
In Dec. 2021, Rite Aid announced that it was planning to shutter 63 of its U.S. locations in 2022. But in April, the popular drugstore chain revealed that it was increasing the number of store closures it had planned, saying it would be closing a total of 145 locations, getting rid of "unprofitable stores" to help "significantly reduce costs" for the company.