Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Another sign of the times

CVS to close downtown pharmacy despite petition drive to save it

News staff writer
Anna Scroggins is on a mission to save the downtown CVS pharmacy, but her one-woman crusade looks like a long shot because of the competitive pressures felt by the nation's second largest drugstore chain.

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Corp. said it plans to close the store at 221 20th St. North on June 24, largely because it doesn't fit the profile of its more successful pharmacies - large and able to generate healthy profits. But Scroggins says the store's loyal shoppers like the convenience of its downtown location.

"We need that CVS," said Scroggins, a security guard at the nearby Frank Nelson Building. "There are so many people who depend on that store."

Scroggins has started a petition drive that has garnered 205 signatures in support of keeping the store open. She said another petition is circulating in the nearby Farley building.

The efforts come as other businesses close locations on the 20th Street artery.

"The McDonald's has closed. The post office has closed. We don't need them to take this away, too," she said.

CVS, which trails only industry rival Illinois-based Walgreen Co. in sales, has operated the downtown store since 1997, when it purchased rival Revco D.S. Inc., which had operated the store. Revco, only months before, had purchased Birmingham-based Big B Drugs, which had operated the 20th Street location for years.

"We have agonized over this decision," said Todd Andrews, spokesman for CVS. "The store is only marginally profitable. As such, we felt we should close the store."

Andrews said the 4,000-square-foot pharmacy is not large enough compared to the 10,500-square-foot prototype stores the company is building these days. The bigger stores allow for a much larger range of merchandise - including electronics and lawn furniture - in an effort to attract more customers and encourage them to spend more money. [...]

Well, that's not good news--this is the second drug store on Birmingham Green (the main north-south street in town) to close in the last couple of years--there used to be a Payless right across the street (that was converted last year to a Quiznos). What makes it harder to take is not that the store was unprofitable, only that it was only marginally profitable. It is making money, just not as much as the suburban stores. There is a market downtown for this type of store--the number of residential lofts continues to grow, and there are more employees located downtown than any other place in the state, so maybe some agressive newcomer or private pharmacist can carve out a niche. Even if it's not in the same location--this store is located on a prime corner lot, and only occupies the lower floor. The whole building is a nice old historic building that could make a great office or living space. So, maybe it will work out okay. And as for the McDonalds that is mentioned in the article, that space is being renovated so the Sabor Mazatlan Latino Tower Cafe place that Miss Reba and I eat as sometimes can move there. Darned site better than Mickey D's, that's for sure.

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