Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Tale of Two CV'S

It was the best of stores. It was the worst of stores. Once upon a time, at the intersection of Ditmars and 31st street, there were two pharmacies - an Eckerd and a CVS. The two stores were diagonally across from each other and people either shopped at one or the other, almost exclusively. The Eckerd was a large store and open 24 hours and was generally kinda awesome. The CVS was cramped and closed at 11pm.

One day, the Eckerd randomly turned into a Rite-Aid, presumably because the same corporation owns both stores and the names were interchangeable. There was no change in staff. Everything went on as it always had. Around this time, the CVS switched to 24-hour service, but still couldn't compete with the Rite Aid in terms of space and selection.

Then one day, the unexpected happened. Rite-Aid had a liquidation sale! Out of nowhere, it was closing! It appeared that the landlord just pushed everyone on the corner lot out of their leases, evidenced by the florist and hair salon in the same building putting up signs that they were moving a few blocks away. This was a very upsetting development for it's die-hard local shppers. Would they really soon be forced to shop at CVS?

(Closing Time. You don't have to go home, but you can't shop here.)

In no time, the Rite Aid was completely emptied and shut down. CVS was the locals only option and the situation there were deteriorating. With no Rite-Aid to handle the majority of the neighborhood business, CVS couldn't handle the increase in traffic. Even with all five registers open, the line often stretched around the building. It was nice to see that some of the old Rite-Aid staff were taken on by CVS, but the extra staff couldn't compensate for the extra customers. People would often would leave without buying anything for not wanting to wait on the line. The neighborhood needed another option.

While dealing with the horrible CVS situation, Locals wondered what would be coming to take the space vacated by Rite Aid. Somewhere, deep in one local's heart, was hope it would be a pool hall, or perhaps a Chuck-E-Cheese. He couldn't tell you why, he was just really hoping for one of these two things. While waiting for a "coming soon" announcement to be posted on the storefront, months passed and it looked like it would stay empty for a long time.

Then one day, as quickly as Rite Aid disappeared, signs popped up that a new store was coming to take its place! What did the signs say:

(Another CVS coming soon. Just one per intersection is never enough.)

WHAAAAT? Another CVS? Now locals would have two of the same damn store diagonally across from each other? This seemed ridiculous.

(view from the new CVS facing the older one. Objects in photo are closer than they appear.)

Was there a lesson to be learned? Is this some kind of twist on the Dr. Seuss's Star-Bellied Sneetches? Locals couldn't figure it out. But most were just looking forward to shopping for pharmacy needs in a new non-cramped setting. Only one was really disappointed in not getting a pool hall or a Chuck-E-Cheese...

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Ha! I literally shopped in that CVS on Saturday, which I never do. I decided to read at Starbucks (God knows you will not attempt to do that at the Steinway location) and ran errands at CVS after. You need a good ol' fashioned poor customer service store (aka Duane Reade) on Ditmars.