CVS Pharmacy at Higgins and Foster avenues to close May 5
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
The CVS Pharmacy at 6200 W. Higgins Ave. will close on May 5 after being open since 2007, with current employees reportedly being offered jobs at three nearby locations, including at the 24-hour store about two blocks away at 6417 W. Higgins Ave.
“I’m going to miss you guys,” a customer said recently to a cashier in the checkout line. “You’ve been a part of my life for the past 15 years in this neighborhood. I’m going to miss coming here.”
Signs posted outside of the store and by the registers simply state “Same heart, different address,” the date of the closure, and “We’re still here for you at 6417 W. Higgins Ave.” A CVS Health spokesperson said that all prescriptions would be transferred to that location, which includes a Minute Clinic that offers walk-in health services.
“All store employees are being offered comparable roles at other nearby locations,” the company said in a statement.
“Maintaining uninterrupted access to pharmacy and health services in our communities is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions. 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, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations,” the statement said.
The CVS spokesperson did not specify if the store was underperforming or how many employees were affected, however, the company announced last year that it began a new “optimization of our retail footprint” strategy.
“As part of this initiative, CVS Health will reduce store density in certain locations (nationwide) and close approximately 300 stores a year for the next 3 years. The company is committed to offering impacted colleagues roles in other locations or different opportunities as part of its overall workforce strategy. These changes will begin in the spring of 2022,” according to CVS. The company plans to review its retail business in order to have a mix of traditional stores, stores dedicated to offering primary care services, and enhanced versions of Health HUB locations that offer everyday health needs, according to a press release.
Shelves at the 6200 W. Higgins Ave. store, which was once a stand-alone Osco Drug store, are already beginning to look empty, with many sales currently being offered.
The store has a liquor license while the 24-hour store two blocks away does not. The 24-hour location at 6417 W. Higgins Ave. was once the site of the Golden Flame restaurant and banquet hall before it was torn down in 2002 and the pharmacy opened there later.
In 2007, CVS re-branded many stand-alone Osco Drug stores as “CVS/pharmacy” after the company purchased 700 stores nationwide in 2006 when Albertsons was sold to several companies. Due to the re-branding, that’s how the area ended up with two CVS’s near each other.
Former 45th Ward alderman Patrick Levar had the 6200 W. Higgins Ave., site downzoned from B3-1 to RS-2. He said in 2007 that he was worried that one of the stores would eventually close and that the rezoning would prevent any “unwanted development.” RS-2 limits construction to single-family homes.