By Kurt Madar
A business that has been part of Crescent City for 55 years is closing permanently Nov. 7.
Pacific Drug, 912 Northcrest Drive, is following in the footsteps of other stores in the West Coast chain by sending its customer information, and 14 employees, to the newly opening Walgreens, a Pacific Drug employee said Friday.
"As you can see, everything is on sale," said Pacific Drug employee Cindy Scott. "We've been bought out by Walgreens. While I'm sad to be leaving, I am excited to have a job and Walgreens is treating us very well."
All 14 employees who are transferring are getting credit for the number of years they worked for Pacific Drug. This is important because some of the employees that are moving have been working at Pacific Drug for over a decade and were planning on retiring there.
"We are getting great benefits," Scott said about the switch to Walgreens.
Pacific Drug is more of a family then a retail store, employees said.
"They are trying to keep that same hometown feel at Walgreens," said an employee who wished to remain anonymous. "We only found out for sure a month ago. I don't know what this shroud of secrecy is all about."
The looming change is raising emotions on both sides of the counter.
"Customers have come in crying," Scott said. "All three of my daughters worked here over the years, and they have a hard time coming in now without getting sad."
Pacific Drug customer Barbara Bono has been coming to the store since 1969.
"This is my first time hearing of it," Bono said Friday, referring to the store closing. "I'm really sad. When you come in the door, people know your name and know what you're going to buy. It really has been part of the community."
Employees stressed Friday that they aren't upset about going to work for Walgreens.
"It's just that we have developed a family here," one employee said. "We are actually excited to be going to a new job, and Walgreens is treating us very well. The problem is that we have seen generations grow up through this store, which makes it a very emotional experience."