CLEVELAND - Customers of Cleveland Pharmacy in downtown Cleveland are being notified that the pharmacy will be joining forces with the Rite-Aid pharmacy chain.
Owner/Pharmacist Josh Kinsey said he has decided to join Rite-Aid and merge customer services. The decision means that the downtown pharmacy will discontinue service after Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Kinsey said it was a bittersweet decision for him.
"We love our customers, love taking care of them, but at the same time the market for an independent pharmacy is just different than it used to be," Kinsey said. "Reimbursement rates are different, the government is way too involved as they are with many things, and it's just a time when independent pharmacies can't survive the big hits like the corporates can."
According to Kinsey, current customer information will be transferred.
"It will be a seamless process as possible," Kinsey said. "The customer will benefit in the long run with the merger with Rite-Aid, including things that we could not offer as a small store."
Kinsey said he and Mary Pardue, certified pharmacy technician, are joining the Rite-Aid staff and the personal touch will be there and Rite-Aid will join that effort.
He said even though Cleveland Pharmacy, which has been open since 2008, no longer will serve customers at its location on the Cleveland Square, The Soda Fountain Café is not affected by the move.
"They are staying in the same location, same hours and everything," Kinsey said. "They hopefully will get the opportunity to expand a little bit."
Kinsey said the gift shop in Cleveland, and the one in Clarkesville, will remain open.