Pharmacies Flock to Triangle’s Demographic

May 29th, 2009 by WY Daily Staff
Pharmacies Flock to Triangle's Demographic

CVS has been moving from strip-mall locations to freestanding ones like this.

During the last two Architectural Review Board meetings for the city, members reviewed an application for a new CVS pharmacy which would sit just blocks away from two other pharmacies, one being the CVS in the Williamsburg Shopping Center.

There are currently four CVS pharmacies that serve the Historic Triangle. CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis wouldn’t confirm the company’s plans to build in the area until a contract is signed. He did say that the company’s current plans include moving older stores out of strip malls – like the one in Williamsburg Shopping Center – and into free-standing buildings with more parking, more visibility and drive-through capability.

Williamsburg isn’t the only locality in the Triangle seeing applications for new pharmacies. In James City County, there are three applications in various stages in the county; one of these is also for a CVS. The other applications are for a Rite Aid and a Walgreens. In Williamsburg, there’s also been a proposal for a Walgreens on Jamestown Road. A CVS will be opening in Yorktown in October. And that’s just to name a few.

Why the glut of pharmacy building now, especially during a recession?

According to DeAngelis, the Williamsburg area is a good target for his company because “as the population ages, their prescription drug use increases.” About one quarter of Williamsburg’s population is made up of retirees.

Often big-name pharmacies are looking for the same target demographic (like seniors who need prescriptions) and the same placement within a town, so often you see competing stores all collected around one major intersection, often just across the street from one another, says DeAngelis.

The Williamsburg CVS application that the ARB has been discussing, which would be at the intersection of Ironbound and Richmond roads, is just a few blocks from a Walgreens, and a few blocks away from another CVS at the Williamsburg Shopping Center, which would likely be closed if the new location opens.

DeAngelis says the company is somewhat “recession-resistant” because “people want one stop for all their essentials, a place where things are inexpensive and convenient.”

It’s a philosophy that Walmart and Target have already figured out.

In the first quarter of this year, retail sales at CVS increased almost 14 percent over last year, says DeAngelis, and the company is looking to increase its presence in the Hampton Roads area.

5 Responses to Pharmacies Flock to Triangle’s Demographic

  1. Anonymous

    May 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    may make sense. The area is already commercial and Richmond Road is multi-lane in each direction. But, I wonder, since the intersection is already built up, what would go away to make room for the pharmacy?

    On the other hand, and I realize this is in James City and not Williamsburg, a pharmacy on Jamestown Road at the site of the Lampliter is a really bad idea. Jamestown Road is already too congested and there already are two pharmacies in the immediate neighborhood.

  2. Anonymous

    June 11, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I understand pharmacies moving in because of the aging of our community and the large number of retirees moving to the area. What I don’t understand, given the demographic of the area, is why there isn’t a social security office in Williamsburg!?

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  6. Anonymous

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