Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

June 26, 2014

Downtown Walgreens set to close

Most employees will be reassigned to three other stores in Kokomo, officials say.

The downtown Walgreens is set to close July 17 as part of the company’s plan to shutter 76 underperforming stores nationwide.

Phil Caruso, spokesman for Walgreens, said the company decided to close the downtown store located at the corner of Sycamore and Washington streets because it is so close to other Walgreens stores in Kokomo.

“There are so many Walgreens in a close cluster in Kokomo that the demand just wasn’t there,” he said. “This was a situation where our main competition was another Walgreens.”

The drugstore chain, based in Deerfield, Illinois, and the nation’s largest, announced in March it would close 76 of its 8,210 stores in an effort to save up to $50 million a year starting in fiscal year 2015.

Even with the closures, the company said it still plans to have a net increase in store count in 2014 of between 55 and 75 locations. The company said it has 138 more stores now than it did a year ago.

Caruso said customers’ prescription and medical information will automatically be transferred to the 24-hour Walgreens at the corner of Dixon Road and Sycamore Street.

He said customers can begin getting prescriptions at that location immediately after the downtown store closes.

“It should be an absolutely seamless transition for our customers,” Caruso said.

He said the majority of the employees at the downtown location, which has been in business for 20 years, will be reassigned to other nearby stores, including the Walgreens at 3608 S. Lafountain St. and 2345 E. Markland Ave.

“The community will remain well served by Walgreens,” Caruso said. “We still have a strong presence in the Kokomo community.”

Company officials would not say what will happen to the downtown building once the store closes.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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