Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Alpha8472
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Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by Alpha8472 »

CVS products have begun to show up at many Longs Drugs stores. I heard from an employee that many Longs Brand products are running out since they are eventually going to be completely replaced with CVS products.

Longs had some interesting store brands such as coffee, nuts, etc. Walnut Grove is one brand. This was of course inspired by Walnut Creek, which is where the headquarters of Longs is located. It will be interesting to see whether CVS brands will be inferior in quality.

What I am really curious about is the fate of the Seattle's Best Coffee cafes at the Walnut Creek flagship store and the Concord store. They are really nice cafes and do decent business. Will CVS eliminate them? They bring in a lot of money much like the Starbucks Cafes inside of Safeway stores.

There is also the question of the Salad and small Produce department at the Longs Flagship store. I also wonder what will happen to the plant department at Longs. Will CVS eliminate that also? Plants have a very high markup. It is quite profitable.
Last edited by Alpha8472 on February 25th, 2009, 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lvkewlkid
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by lvkewlkid »

When CVS had taken over the former Sav-Ons here in Las Vegas, I don't think they got rid of any departments. They kept everything that Sav-On had and it seems like they merchandise each store independently, since although the stores have been remodeled and have a different name, it doesn't seem like any departments have been lost in the Sav-On stores.

I am sure that the same would be true for the Longs Drugs stores.
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by bigpimp9532 »

Longs out here in the Central Valley are advertising in their stores about the conversion..."The Longs You Know will become the CVS/pharmacy That You Love." Also the Longs branded items are slowly being replaced by CVS items. The Longs here in Manteca will be replaced by a CVS in a different location in town sometime this year. The current Longs opened back in 1983 and has never received a remodel. One of the employees in the store told me that they will all be transferred to the new CVS. It will be sad to see Longs go. I've been into the new CVS in Modesto and it is strange...carpet all over and such low shelving...I don't like it...Longs has been part of my childhood, I don't think I will warm up to CVS plus its like 4 miles away from my house....I will miss Longs
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by Alpha8472 »

Longs Drugs was always a nice place to shop at. Their stores were more of a variety store than Walgreens and other drug stores. Longs also had a soothing decor featuring shelves with wood patterns.

CVS seems to like to build small stores on busy street corners. Their strategy seems to be more like a limited selection convenience store. You go in and get what you need and leave. Rite Aid and Walgreens also have been replacing old stores in strip malls with new smaller stores located on street corners. They want to appeal to people who want convenience and drive thru pharmacies.

The fun part about Longs is that you could spend a lot of time browsing through the variety store items that they had. They had board game, toys, garden supplies, and other items that were fun to look through. The selection of those types of items will probably be reduced when CVS takes over.
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by storewanderer »

CVS pulled most of the general merchandise categories from the Reno/Sparks Sav-Ons when they took them. Categories like sporting goods were eliminated completely, plants and related supplies disappeared, liquor was scaled back, and cosmetics/vitamins were expanded a bit.

The CVS out in Elko got to retain a sporting goods department though, so who knows how they will handle the Longs Stores.

CVS just opened a new build store in Sparks; their first new build in this market. They will open two more new builds soon (one of which was to open as Longs but the finishing was stalled). It is a tiny little box with five foot high shelves and narrow aisles. I can't believe how compact it feels. It feels like it has about 1/3 the product selection of a new build Walgreens or Rite Aid.
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by romleys »

CVS closing some Longs locations?
I have heard from the manager of the Longs located on Regional Steet in Dublin that he and a few of his employees have been offered positions at other stores. According to him "When CVS executives visited the store they were appalled at the poor condition and huge sales floor which was hardly stocked they looked at each other and said WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH THIS PLACE"? He stated that a closure is likely to occur by July but would not confirm such a thing to me as he likely didnt know either...
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by storewanderer »

It is funny the Longs stores that CVS selected to close here in Reno.

One was the Reno Plumb Lane store (with the Payless shape road sign). This store was huge, but did pretty well. There is a former Sav-On now CVS down the road about 1/2 mile that is a disaster (stocking/staffing issues), but arguably a better location.

CVS also closed the former Payless over on Prater in Sparks. This store had been downsized some over the years and the sales floor was probably no more than about 25,000 square feet but they had a lot of general merchandise. There is a former Sav-On right across the road from this one, so this closure did make sense.

CVS also closed the former Rite Aid on Prater in Sparks. This was the only 24hour Longs in town, but I don't think it did too well. This was a freestanding Rite Aid built in the late 90s, but was back a ways from the major intersection. Also, that intersection had ongoing construction for a couple years and businesses there really took a hit. The construction started soon after Longs took the store from Rite Aid.

CVS also closed the 2007 or so build strip mall (with drive though) Longs on Disc/Pyramid Highway in Sparks, relocating that to a new CVS at the corner of Sparks/Los Altos about 1 mile away. This store was no more than 18,000 square feet, but a lot larger than the CVS that replaced it.

As far as CVS execs visiting a store and being appalled with conditions, I invite them to visit 1250 West Seventh in Reno... I took these last week of this former Sav-On. How poorly stocked is that large Longs in Dublin? When I saw it, it wasn't poorly stocked, but that was when Ralphs was still open, so it has been a long time.

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Alpha8472
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by Alpha8472 »

CVS seems to view large stores as a liability. The bigger the store is, the more rent they would have to pay. They feel that it is not worth it to have a large store.

The CVS store above is quite big looking, but perhaps it is in an area where the rent is very low. If the rent is low in that area, CVS probably is keeping the large sized store open just because it is cheap. If they didn't bother to carpet that large store, it probably means they feel that they might close it in the future. They didn't bother spending money on carpet in case that it would close.

The CVS pattern seems to be to close all the big stores in bad locations. Then maybe open a new and tiny CVS on a nearby busy street corner. Most of the profit is in the pharmacy, and the rest of the floor space doesn't make as much money. Basically, a new style CVS building is a just a pharmacy with a little bit of floor space on the side.
Last edited by Alpha8472 on March 4th, 2009, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by luckysaver »

A few notes regarding this topic:

- Yes, Longs is slowly turning into CVS. West Covina (Eastland) CA is still open as of today but Rancho Cucamonga closed sometime in last month or two ago.
CVS closed the Longs because there are 2 other CVS locations in the city (Haven near Church in the Terra Vista section, Milliken at the 210 Freeway in the Grapeland/Victoria Park section). I'm not sure about the fate of West Covina's other Longs on Glendora and Cameron. West Covina's CVS locations include Azusa/Puente and Nogales/La Puente.

- In Southern California, CVS has cube-shaped corner stores (Valley and Grand in Walnut), former small sized Savon Express turned CVS Pharmacies (South Ontario on Euclid and Philadelphia), moderately sized ex-Savon (Azusa and San Bernardino Road in Covina), and large supermarket-sized sites (Diamond Bar). CVS does value their large supermarket-sized stores because they can use much of that extra space to have more grocery, seasonal/holiday merchandise, MinuteClinic office, Home Health Center, a larger sized pharmacy, etc. If you go inside the Diamond Bar location (60 Freeway at Diamond Bar Blvd), you will see how evenly spaced the store is and how they make use of the entire building, which first opened in 1970 as Payless Drugs, became Savon Drugs in 1984, had an Albertsons Guaranteed Quality decor in 2001, and remodeled as a full service CVS in 2007 (it lacks a drive-thru pharmacy and a coffee bar).

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Re: Longs Drugs Changing Into CVS

Post by storewanderer »

I have yet to see a CVS that values their large space. The merchandise is standard among the stores that I have seen with the exception of Elko mentioned prior. The large stores have the same merchandise as a small freestanding store but spread out much more based on what I've seen. The departments are also larger in the large stores (larger checkout, larger photo, larger pharmacy, etc.) to take up the space. Or in the case of the store I photographed about there is just a bunch of open space along with shelves filled with things like water and paper products.

We'll see how they handle Longs because there will be a lot of stores, and a lot of Longs people who may push to keep the assortment at least to some degree. Plus, how much of Longs profit and customer base came due to the expanded merchandise mix.
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