Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Of Walgreen's, an indifferent city management and downtown Kenosha

Walgreen's has been a fixture in downtown Kenosha for much longer than 1962 as the Kenosha News reported (1962 is when it moved to its present location).  The mammoth drug store chain plans to shutter the cramped store in September, offering up a lame excuse that the new Walgreen store at 75th Street and Sheridan Road will better serve the area. 

Who are they kidding?  And why isn't city hall reacting?

A lot of folks are working hard to breathe new life into downtown Kenosha.  Bistros, galleries, shops, condos are adding some life into the otherwise moribund patient.  Add the museums, trolley and lakefront and it's curious why our city fathers -- and the school district, for that matter -- aren't more concerned.

Walgreen's was the last general retail establishment in downtown Kenosha.  It's more than a pharmacy, as are most Walgreen stores around the country, but in an area with no other sources for a loaf of bread, cough syrup, Kleenex or panty hose you'd think Walgreen's would be looking to expand, especially with new residential development.  Shame on them.

And city hall?  They probably need to buy another ream of paper to keep up with the list of shuttered storefronts in this city.  Shame on them, too.

If city hall hasn't been on the phone with CVS, what's taking so long?  The downtown area needs a modern drug store, among other things.  Or will the old Walgreen's become an unwelcome city landamark: another shuttered storefront?

1 comment:

RAG said...

Some vitriol ostensibly suffering from rectal-cranial inversion offered up the thought that Walgreens can do what it damn well pleases and obviously they had all their wizards crunch everything before deciding the downtown Kenosha store was no longer fiscally viable.

Now let's parse this out.

First, the concern was about a landmark downtown business pulling out, certainly the last drug store, and the proliferation of vacant storefronts in the community.

As for Walgreen's, nobody ever said that they can't decide to fold a store if they want. They can and do and in this case are going to.

The problem identified here is the Walgreen twit who said that the store at 75th Street and Sheridan Road is close enough to downtown to adequately serve its needs.

You don't need a weather forecaster to tell you it's raining outside and you don't need to talk to very many people in the downtown area -- workers, senior citizens in the tower and young people living in new housing -- to dispute ther veracity of that garbage.

As for corporate wizards always knowing what's financially wise, the pavement is littered with the cadavers of those who didn't. Let's use one close to home example.

Jewel/Osco is a fixture in the Chicago area. Jewel/Osco was sold to Albertsons, an Idaho grocery outlet, which in turn was bought out by SuperValu.

SuperValu decided to close all Jewel stores in Wisconsin, even the profitable ones in Racine and Kenosha, the latter a favorite among Illinois transplants.

The Kenosha store was shuttered for weeks until it reopened as a SuperValu franchised Sentry store with reduced stock and no connection whatsoever with the Illinois transplants who probsbly discovered that Woodman's has a better selection and prices. The new Sentry owners meant well but the SuperValu wizards thought they knew what was best for Kenosha. The Sentry store folded in short order.

Yep, Walgreen's can do as it pleases but it may not always be a smart move and I or anyone else have the right to question it, period.