Cross 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.
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."
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.