Cherry Lawn Pharmacy Closed Effective Immediately; Prescription Drug Business Transfered to Wykagyl CVS

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CherryLawnCloses 245Cross another independent pharmacy in New Rochelle off the list.

Weeks after CVS acquired Almarc Drugs in New Rochelle and Larchmont, the company has acquired the prescription drug business of Cherry Lawn Pharmacy which was then transferred to the Wykagyl CVS next to the Starbucks. The transfer is effective immediately.

Customers who arrived this morning were stunned, sad and angry to find the doors locked and a message directing them to the Wykagyl CVS at 1296 North Avenue at the Wykagyl Shopping Center.

"I am mad and sad all at once." said Amelia Lopopolo of New Rochelle. "Look at me I am about to cry. I was just here the other day."

"I lived her 49 years. I used them from the day I came," said Caryl Fuchs of New Rochelle. "I just can't believe this, I don't understand it."

Fuchs offered a brief history of the store.

"It was open when I came here in 1963. Bert and Walter owned it, two brothers. Then they passed away. Then the pharmacy from Tuckahoe going down to Crestwood Station bought them and there here was one over there, the Wykagyl Pharmacy then they closed and the guys came to work here."

Large signs were displayed in the window thanking customers, explaining the closing of the pharmacy and the re-opening next week:

DEAR CENTURY CHERRY LAWN CUSTOMERS:

DUE TO ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF THE RETAIL PHARMACY MARKET, CENTURY CHERRY LAWN WILL NO LONGER BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS A RETAIL PHARMACY. WE WANT TO EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST APPRECIATION FOR YOUR SUPPORT OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS IT HAS TRULY BEEN OUR PLEASURE TO SERVE YOU AND WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE KNOWING THAT CENTURY CHERRY LAWN WAS THIS COMMUNITY'S INDEPENDENT PHARMACY OF CHOICE FOR SO LONG.

IN AN EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THIS COMMUNITY'S NEEDS. CENTURY CHERRY LAWN WILL REMAIN OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN A CAPACITY THAT WE FEEL IS MORE ECONOMICALLY VIABLE AND WILL ALLOW US TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THE NEW ROCHELLE COMMUNITY FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS.

ON MONDAY MAY 21, 2012, CENTURY CHERRY LAWN WILL OPEN ITS DOORS TO THE PUBLIC AND CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SOME OF THE SAME GREAT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES YOU HAVE COME TO KNOW US FOR INCLUDING.

GREETING CARDS

GIFT ITEMS

VITAMINS AND NUTRITIONALS

ALTHOUGH THE ABOVE ITEMS AILE THE PRODUCTS WE WILL OFFER INITIALLY, WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES THAT EXIST. IT IS OUR SINCUE HOPE THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO GROW THIS "NEW" VENTURE INTO SOMETHING EVEN BIGGER AND OFFER OUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS, AND THE ENTIRE NEW ROCHELLE, COMMUNITY ANOTHER GREAT LOCAL BUSINESS.

AS YOU MAY IMAGINE, THE CLOSING OF OUR PHARMACY IS BITTERSWEET. WE HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF SERVING THE MOST WONDERFUL MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY AND THE PRIVILEGE OF EMPLOYING THE FINEST PROFESSIONALS IN THE PHARMACY BUSINESS. CENTURY CHERRY LAWN WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS MOST HEARTFELT THANKS TO THE PHARMACISTS AND EMPLOYEES THAT MADE CENTURY CHERRY LAWN EVERYTHING THIS IT (AND WAS NOT) OVER THE YEARS.

PLEASE KNOW THAT CLOSING OUR PHARMACY WAS VERY DIFFICULT DECISION, AND ONE THAT WAS CONSIDERED FROM MANY ANGLES. AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE TRULY BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT DECISION AND ONE THAT WILL ALLOW US TO SERVE NEW ROCHELLE FOR THE LONG TERM. PLEASE ALLOW US THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE YOU 8Y SUPPORTING OUR "NEW" BUSINESS

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT IN THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO BE PART OF SUCH A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY.

"They just took the liberty of doing that?" asked Alan Konkiser of New Rochelle. "Maybe I don't want to patronize CVS?"

The more he thought about it the more outraged he became.

"I think this is very backstabbing," he added. "What loyalty do they have to the community doing this? You think I am going to come here and patronize this store?"

Konkiser was also concerned about his privacy.

"There's gotta be a privacy law. Maybe I don't want the world to know if I'm sick. Am I right or wrong?"

There is a law but it allows these types of transactions:

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was enacted in part to protect patient privacy by maintaining the confidentiality of medical records. Federal law permits pharmacies to transfer customers' prescriptions to other qualified pharmacists. Such transfers are made routinely, not only in pharmacy sales, but when a customer needs to fill a prescription at a different pharmacy when traveling away from home.

All day customers have been coming up to the store and express shock, anger and sadness.

"Very sad and frustrating"

"Your kidding me?"

"I am so sick of CVS. I try to never go to those stores."

"I am so unhappy."

"I was here last night and they never said a word."

"I come her for everything."

"I was just here yesterday."

"You can do all your Christmas shopping here."

"It hurts. It's sad."

"You get special attention when you go to these kind of stores."

"I kept calling the phone number and it kept saying CVS and I kept hanging up and I came over here.

"I hate going there [Wykagyl Shopping Center]. I hate that parking lot."

"Wow."

Told that Elliot Chester, the long-time Cherry Lawn pharmacist would be working over at CVS, every person we spoke to said they were glad that he still had a job.

Cherry Lawn will be closed until Monday May 22nd when it will re-open as a gift shop without the pharmacy.

CVS will not offer a delivery service as Cherry Lawn Pharmacy did for many years.

The Cherry Lawn Pharmacy phone number (914-235-3232) has been re-directed to a CVS voice mail that refers to the "former Cherry Lawn Pharmacy" and advises customers to go to the Wykagyl CVS at 1296 North Avenue at the Wykagyl Shopping Center.

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Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

KD96 on Mon, 06/18/2012 - 16:14

There's a pharmacy in the Scarsdale/Eastchester area you all should try called Wilmont Pharmacy right on Route 22. It's actually across from a CVS (near Equinox), but it's managed to stay there for years despite CVS opening across the street. The guy who owns it remembers every single customer's name and their entire medical history, pretty rare today. They don't sell convenience items really, they are strictly prescriptions, over the counter items, surgicals, medical equipment, compression stockings, etc. He and his wife own it and are there every day. They bend over backwards for you - call your doctor to get you a refill or order things specifically for you, etc. This place is a real gem and one of the last local pharmacies in the area, so you should support them if you're looking for somewhere new to go. Their website is www.wilmontpharmacy.com if anyone needs more info.

Barry on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 20:49

The death of small independent pharmacies is driven by market forces, in part by low insurance reimbursement rates. Those low rates help keep prescriptions affordable for those who have insurance, but it means a pharmacy has to fill lots and lots of prescriptions if it's going to make money. The nature of the pharmacy business has changed. I'm going to miss Cherry Lawn but whining isn't going to help any more than it helped forestall the changes to where we buy our books or how we get our news. Fasten your seat belts; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Bob McCaffrey on Fri, 05/25/2012 - 15:30

The situation you speak of is nothing new to that CVS or any other. They are all under staffed and poorly managed. The CVS in Eastchester if you park at the CVS and then walk up the street to Walgreens you get done before the people that were already in the CVS when you parked and with fewer headaches. After Almarc closed I moved to Cherry Lawn then they closed a week later. I have just moved to the Stop and Shop on Palmer Avenue. They were very receptive helpful and a pleasure to deal with, best of all no long lines. I doubt they will close any time soon.

Same old stink just a different day different smell!

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Fri, 05/25/2012 - 13:15

Had the pleasure of trying to pick up prescriptions yesterday at the only Pharmacy in town CVS Wykagyl....
The line was 10 deep. Customers where not very happy. The Pharmacist could not find prescriptions, they had a young man working the counter that may not know the Alphabet because he could not find any previously order prescriptions. I am sure they will get it together but for Now CVS if your listening it isn't enough to buy up all your competition you also need to support your customers and employees until they begin to catch up to the onslaught you have created. Having the same stock of drugs while you have increased customers makes no sense. Having no experience workers helping Pharmacists who are burried with more work load only will force clients elsewhere. CVS please get your act together and support the store you have now created mayhem in.
This is so typical.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 15:02

I always used Cherry Lawn Elliot was a proffesional
old time Pharmacist who knew how the job was to be done. About 5 years ago my health plan began to force me to place my prescriptions with Caremark for any products taken regularly. Slowly they erroded Cherry Lawn and other private Pharmacys from getting that regular business. CareMark a CVS company was challenged for resticting free market and lost but in the settlement they were allowed to move those mail driven scripts to CVS. This similar thing went on in the Funeral world for years as all the Moms and Pops got bought out by SCI ect. CVS now owns all the market Share and they can now continue to excecute the pricing rise and margins that they desire. The only way to beat them at this game is to not purchase any other products from them. Walk in fill your scripts and walk out.
Your local representatives have allowed this to happen. Let Schumer, Lowey and Paulin know how you feel. If they get enough heat they can stop the monopoly from restricting trade. This is a violation of fair trade.

Bob McCaffrey on Fri, 05/18/2012 - 19:51

That is downright disgusting. I just finished transferring my business from Almarc to Cherry Lawn. The CVS next to Starbucks in Wykagyl Shopping Center is the second worst of the chain. The North Avenue store on Treno Street is even worse. Between the two of them they had my prescription information wrong for over a year. We are being forced more and more to deal with the idiots at CVS and the other chain store in New Rochelle. I guess I have to go to Stop and Shop or travel outside New Rochelle to conduct business since we have no Downtown to shop with local shop owner.

God Help Us!

Martin Sanchez's picture
Martin Sanchez on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 14:30
Title: Sad Indeed!

Sadder is the lack of comment from our elected officials. Nothing from Noam Bramson or the City Council member from this district. They come out when a new store opens or they built bike paths to nowhere and write it up on their web page, but not a peep when something like this occurs. While we all believe that progress is necessary and inevitable, we sometimes wish to retain a little bit from the past.

Andrew Newman on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 17:01

Martin,

I am somewhat confused. Why should City Council involve itself in this matter? This is a privately owned business concerned selling to a private company. Are you suggesting that the New Rochelle City Council should prevent the sale from taking place ? If you think there is an opportunity you (or a group of investors) are free to offer Cherry Lawn a competing bid. That is how it works in the free market system.

Martin Sanchez's picture
Martin Sanchez on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 18:31

I guess because of the imperfections in free market mechanisms, the free market system economy that you casually posit tends to further increase the disparities between people, creating monopolies like CVS. I guess my point was a simpler one that goes to the issue of the health of our community, our small businesses who try to hang on with the kind of service that I was used to having. I am not against preventing folks from investing or making fair deals, but I just wish there were leaders in our community who would see the big picture: Who would provide a hand to our small business community from time to time like they do the big developers who get all of the attention and then regurgitate donations to our professional politicians in blue suits and dirty black shoes. Call me an idealist and yes, I know how the free market system works. Just caring about about our community. Thanks for your comments.

NewRochelleUSED... on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 20:11

...that Idoni II and Idoni I had nothing whatEVER to do with city planning and the plethora of CVSs glutting the landscape, and the LACK of anything decent in downtown New Rochelle?

I'll be darned, so all those dollar stores and fruit stores and...wait is there anything else in downtown NR other than dollar stores and fruit stores? no there isn't...could make way for revitalization, ALL on their own and Idoni II and the city council have NOTHING to do with it.

Well, I'll be darned. I did NOT know that.

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