The CVS Pharmacy located at 137 E. Franklin St. will permanently close next week on June 16.
The East Franklin Street location is one of many CVS stores set to close in the coming years.
CVS Health announced its plans to close 900 of its locations over the next three years in November 2021, which accounts for approximately ten percent of the company’s footprint.
Rising UNC senior Thomas Durand said he is disappointed that the CVS is closing.
“I would usually go a few times a semester to buy a Monster Energy drink, and it’s the only place on Franklin where I can buy over-the-counter allergy pills at a reasonable price,” he said. “While Target exists, it’s also a much further walk.”
Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership Executive Director Matt Gladdek said the closures are due to changes in CVS’ business model, which is moving away from being a general convenience store and towards personalized health and medicine.
He said the location at 137 E. Franklin St. did not fully fit with the new business plan.
However, Gladdek said the CVS Pharmacy inside Target at 143 W. Franklin St. played to both companies’ strengths, as CVS’ strength is in its pharmacy and Target’s is in its merchandising.
“The Target business is doing really well, and I'm assuming that extra foot traffic from the Target helps the CVS Pharmacy inside,” he said.
Grubb Properties owns the space the Franklin Street CVS is located. The company purchased the building in April of 2019.
Grubb Properties Corporate Communication Director Emily Ethridge said the development company does not have any plans for the space CVS currently occupies at this time.
“We are doing a lot of other work for that building in other areas, but we don’t have any plans for that space specifically right now,” she said.
Gladdek said that the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is working with Grubb Properties to find a business to take over the space.
He said the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership gathers feedback on the state of downtown from the community in an annual survey distributed from late May to early June. The survey includes an open comment field that asks people what businesses they would like to see downtown.
Gladdek added the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is reaching out to potential tenants that survey respondents indicated they wanted to see downtown.
“It's a very, very prime location,” he said. “It’s a very large space, including the upstairs and downstairs. It has the opportunity to be a transformative space for East Franklin Street.”
Gladdek said he did not think the closure of the East Franklin Street location would have a major impact on community access to a pharmacy or general merchandise, as the CVS Pharmacy inside Target is not far from the CVS on East Franklin Street.
“My office is across the street, and it will be slightly less convenient for me to have to walk further to go and get my prescriptions filled or anything else like that, but I don't think it'll have a major effect right now,” he said.
Gladdek added that as construction on the office buildings at 137 E. Franklin St. and 115 E. Rosemary St. finishes, there will be increased demand for general merchandise on that side of downtown.
“We’ll see what the future holds over here,” he said.
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