CVS Health recently announced that it will start the process of closing 11 of its Chicago stores this month. The Rhode Island-based company is undergoing restructuring, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. In all, the company plans to close about 70 of its more than 9,700 stores this year.
But the planned closing of one West Side CVS in particular, located at 3146 W. Madison St. in East Garfield Park, would mean more than just business as usual, said Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th).
Davis, who held a press conference in front of the location on Sunday, said that his records show that over 5,000 senior citizens live near that West Side CVS.
“We are concerned that areas like East Garfield Park continue to lose resources,” Davis said. “We need answers. There are approximately 12,000 individuals in the affected area between the ages of 35 and 64 with some type of disability. The disabled and seniors will have a long way to go just to receive basic needs to deal with their ailments.”
Davis said CVS received approximately $1 million in Tax Increment Financing dollars to develop the 15,000-square-foot store.
According to state Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin (10th), the store’s closing would make the area a “pharmaceutical desert.”
“Our families and our seniors will no longer have easy access to their prescriptions and will have to make costly trips to other communities to get the medication they require,” she said. “CVS posted over $177 billion in revenue in 2016 and grew its sales by over 15 percent. It is unacceptable and inexcusable that they, as the only pharmacy in our community, will be leaving our families and our seniors without access to medication.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that CVS will continue to operate about 80 pharmacies in Chicago. A CVS spokeswoman told the Tribune that the company would transfer the pharmacy operations of the shuttered stores to nearby locations in order to minimize service interruptions.
“The company plans to post signage in its pharmacies before the closing date for affected locations,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Davis and Conyears-Ervin said that CVS has not adhered to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires businesses with at least 75 employees to notify state and local officials at least 60 days in advance of closing.
“Both the City of Chicago and the Illinois Department of Labor indicated they have not received any notice,” according to a statement released by Davis’s office.
Officials with CVS Health, the city or the labor department could not be reached for comment before press time.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the other 10 CVS pharmacies scheduled to close include locations at: 5360 S. Western Ave., 3411 W. Addison St., 4540 N. Pulaski Road, 2828 N. Clark St., 2825 W. Devon Ave., 120 S. LaSalle St., 2053 N. Milwaukee Ave., 6355 W. Belmont Ave., 2722 N. Central Ave. and 3552 W. Grand Ave.