Community relieved after CVS reverses decision to close SF Lower Haight location

J.R. Stone Image
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Community relieved after CVS reverses decision to close SF location
Nearby residents didn't know how they would've gotten their medication if the CVS store at 499 Haight Street in San Francisco closed. They're happy that's no longer the case.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The CVS store at 499 Haight Street in San Francisco that had been previously slated to close is staying open.

"But we're very happy that it's still open!" said Jesus Guillen who lives nearby.

"It's just getting ridiculous, so I'm really glad that nothing has happened to this one," said Krista Jones who often shops at the store.

Last week CVS announced that the location in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood would close. Tuesday, they announced that that is no longer the case.

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"It's heartening in this case that as they got some pushback from our office and the community they were willing to reconsider their plans so we appreciate that," said San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston.

ABC7 News reached out to CVS and asked them why they initially planned to close the store and why they then changed their mind about it. They wrote back only saying they were not closing and apologized for any confusion.

Amy Thibault of CVS wrote, "We've re-evaluated our upcoming store closure plans and have decided NOT to close the CVS Pharmacy at 499 Haight Street in San Francisco in January as previously disclosed. The store and pharmacy will remain open and will continue to serve the community. We apologize for any confusion this change in direction may have caused."

An employee told ABC7 News off camera that they have dealt with a lot of theft but was unclear if that was the original reason for the planned closure.

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Regulars at the store said that had this pharmacy closed, it would have been a major disruption for those trying to get their medication.

"Overwhelmed because my momma has been helping me a lot with the medicines and to close this pharmacy would be three times the amount of distance, so we would already do the transfers and stuff," said Guillen.

Community members along with Supervisor Preston are happy about the plan to stay open, but say the fact that this one closure could have left the community without a nearby pharmacy, is troubling.

"We are at the point unfortunately that there are very few independent pharmacies remaining. There is a handful, not too many, so we're reliant on big chains," said Supervisor Preston.

"Obviously it would be nice to have more local pharmacies but I guess that's not the world we live in. We just have these two big chains that get to control whether people have access to their medications or not," said nearby resident Aditya Bhumbla.

There are now no known plans to close this or the 12 other remaining CVS stores in San Francisco.

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