So long, Longs: CVS to enter local drugstore mix |

So long, Longs: CVS to enter local drugstore mix

CVS Caremark’s $2.7 billion buyout of Longs Drugs is expected to heat up the drugstore wars, including in western Nevada County.

The Longs Drugs in Glenbrook Basin and the one on Combie Road are expected to be rebranded as CVS pharmacies next year, a corporate spokesman said Wednesday.

It will compete with a nearby Walgreens, planned for the vacant lot once occupied by Jim Keil Chevrolet, and Rite Aid Pharmacy – all in the same area – as well as independent drugstores such as Dokimos.

The large number of drugstores in such as small area reflects the demographics of the area’s older population, making the Longs location in Grass Valley a good asset for CVS. It’s also one reason Walgreens chose to open a store so close to its chief chain competitors.

The CVS buyout of Longs, announced late Tuesday, is the latest sign of consolidation among pharmacies. It allows CVS to extend its lead as the nation’s largest provider of prescriptions, with 6,800 drugstores in 41 states.

Some Longs could be closed where a CVS is located nearby or where the real estate is valuable for other purposes.

The consolidation allows the big drugstore companies to wield more bargaining power on the prices it pays for drugs. Competition is intense, with Wal-Mart and big grocery chains offering low-cost generic programs.

To contact Jeff Pelline, e-mail or call 477-4235.

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