CALUMET HEIGHTS — Walgreens is closing its store in the South Side’s Calumet Heights neighborhood next month as it shutters 200 stores nationwide, officials confirmed.
Customers, including frustrated residents, learned of the impending closure from employees last week. The store, 2011 E. 95th St., is set to close Nov. 11.
Residents frustrated over the closing of their neighborhood Walgreens will have a chance to sound off at a community meeting called by Ald. Greg Mitchell (7th) at 6 p.m. Thursday at his 7th Ward service office, 2249 E. 95th St. The New Mount Olive Baptist Church, Greater Morning View Missionary Baptist and South East Calumet Heights Homeowners Association are among the local groups who have been invited to attend.
The drugstore chain announced in August it would shutter 200 stores nationwide this fall as part of its “global restructuring plan,” according to a Chicago Tribune report.
Instead of a five-minute walk to the store, resident Gaylon Alcaraz will now have to make the drive to Walgreens stores at 1616 E. 87th St. or 9148 S. Commercial Ave. — both located about 1½ miles from the 95th Street store.
“Why is it always stores in black neighborhoods that are closing? You’re not going to see stores close like this in Lincoln Park,” said Alcaraz, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade. “We live in an area that’s aging out. There are a lot of seniors that depend on their prescriptions. This is unacceptable.”
While Alcaraz has shopped at the CVS Pharmacy nearby, she likes to have options.
“Every time they want to dismantle neighborhoods, this is what they do,” she said. “You can go to neighborhoods on the North Side and they have resources everywhere. But here, they close schools, they take away stores, decrease our property values.”
Despite numerous calls to Walgreens’ suburban headquarters in Deerfield, representatives could not be reached for comment.
The Walgreens closure follows Target’s decision to close two South Side stores in Chatham and Morgan Park earlier this year. The move was met with protests and an executive order that requires developers getting tax-increment financing dollars to open new stores to vow they won’t close stores in other parts of the city.
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