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Eckerd Drugs, 2200 Augusta Road, April 2000   15 comments

Posted at 12:24 am in closing

Here's yet another of Columbia's (or West Columbia's in this case) former Eckerd Drugs locations, and like a number of former drugstores in the area, it's been re-purposed as a discount store, a Dollar General in this case. I didn't get any front-on shots because people were in and out constantly while I was parked next door at Walgreens, but it's the standard Eckerds look.

I'm not sure when the Walgreens went in, but its being there may have something to do with why this Eckerds did not continue life as a Rite Aid.

UPDATE 13 May 2011: Changed the closing date in the post title based on commenter Andrew's research.

UPDATE 10 August 2020: Add map icon, update tags.

Written by ted on January 5th, 2010

Tagged with , , , , , ,

15 Responses to 'Eckerd Drugs, 2200 Augusta Road, April 2000'

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  1. What in the world is the deal with drugstores around this town, maybe even the country for that matter? I've lost track of how many new stores are built and then almost immediately abandoned to be repurposed for some totally different business. Yet they keep building them like there is no tomorrow and like the one that just got repurposed didn't fail. There has to be some deeper story behind this, it almost seems like some kind of mob scheme going on if I didn't know better. But I really don't know better, so anyone with the answer for this phenomenon care to speak up?

    While we're on the topic of drugstore phenomenology, what's the deal with the raised flooring behind the pharmacy counter? What, they think they're better than we are? Every drugstore I've been in had the pharmacist standing a good six inches taller than the rest of the store. It's some sort of tradition to be sure, but I think we ought to protest raised pharmacy floors and put those people on the same level as the rest of us.

    Phlat Pharmacy Pfloors Pforever!

    Michael Taylor

    5 Jan 10 at 1:20 am

  2. The Walgreen's was there first. The Eckerd's was open only a few months (if even that) before the Rite-Aid merger and it was labeled as surplus.


    5 Jan 10 at 8:42 am

  3. I'm with Michael on this. How odd that they build so many of these things, so often, in some many towns. I wonder what the strategy is. So much for smart growth.


    5 Jan 10 at 10:23 am

  4. Michael, nice Seinfeld reference!! Speaking of thinking they're too good for the rest of us, trying getting them to walk ten feet and snagging a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup out of the regular store when you're in the drive through picking up medicine. They look at you like you're crazy. If I'm sick enough to be picking up medicine, it's a good chance I'll like a Reeses as well. And another thing, when you go to the drive through and try to get your prescription filled, they ask "when do you want it?" and it's an antibiotic. I want it now!!! And they say, "it'll be 45 minutes." I want to be in bed in 45 minutes. But yea, they're on every corner. If there's one, there's three.


    5 Jan 10 at 5:19 pm

  5. This Eckerd was closed in 2000. That year the company closed several hundred under performing stores around the country, including 3-4 in the Columbia area. This one was never a Rite-Aide but went to being a Dollar General. The "excuse" why it did so poorly was poor acess and the Wal-mart down the road. The Walgreens opened up several years after this ceased to be an Eckerd.


    5 Jan 10 at 5:34 pm

  6. Walgreens opened up on US#1 & Leaphart Road around 2003 (I was just becoming familiar with the area at the time) and this former Eckerd was already Dollar General by then


    31 May 10 at 10:02 pm

  7. This one closed in April 2000 according to an article I recently discovered

    btw the same goes for the 1720 Taylor Street store (read the article and you'll see why)


    12 May 11 at 7:13 pm

  8. Walgreens went on a phase where they opened a new store every 18 hours for approximately 5 years but I think they've curtailed that. The one next to this was a part of that growth but it came online in early 2003. If you read the article I linked above, you'll see this Eckerd closed in April 2000


    13 May 11 at 2:41 pm

  9. OK, I've updated the closing date..


    13 May 11 at 4:37 pm

  10. I actually worked at this store as one of the assistant managers the last five months of it's life. The Walgreen's next door wasn't built until a few years after this location closed in April 2000 (there was a video poker/bar there while Eckerd was in business). We were told in late February 2000 that a round of store closings were coming, and unfortunately we were one of the ones on the chopping block. Tom above is certainly correct about the poor access; I couldn't begin to tell you how many complaints we received about how hard it was to get to the store from any direction. I think my favorite part of working here was that because we were the third or fourth lowest volume store in town, district management had no problems closing our pharmacy down for days at a time when our store pharmacists were needed at higher-volume stores. Imagine the pissed customers we had to deal with then.


    11 Sep 11 at 1:47 pm

  11. Here's when this Eckerd closed

    State, The (Columbia, SC)-March 2, 2000
    Author: MAURICE THOMAS, Staff Writer

    Eckerd Drugs will close two stores in West Columbia and one in Columbia by the end of April.

    The closings come as J.C. Penney Co., which owns Eckerd, tries to cut costs and boost its stock price.

    The company will close 45 J.C. Penney stores and 289 Eckerd stores nationwide.

    A recorded statement at the company's Dallas headquarters said the J.C. Penney closings will be released within two weeks.

    Eckerd operates more than a dozen stores in the Midlands. Stores will be closed at 1720 Taylor St. in Columbia and at 2200 Augusta Road and 1185 Sunset Blvd. in West Columbia.

    Also, a store at 1126 U.S. 321 in Winnsboro will be closed, according to the company's Web site.

    Because of the high volume of inquiries, Eckerd posted statements regarding the company and closings on its Web site.

    The site lists a total of 10 other store closings in Anderson, Berkeley, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Spartanburg and York counties.

    Most of the closings will occur by the end of April, the company said.

    Prescription files at the stores that will be closed can be transferred to a nearby Eckerd or a local competitor. Customers affected by a closing can contact the store for additional information.

    Eckerd said employees affected by the closings would be offered jobs with J.C. Penney.

    The company said many of the stores being closed are small or low-volume locations that were bought from other chains. The three Columbia-area stores are modern, stand-alone stores with drive-through pharmacy windows.

    In a prepared statement, Eckerd representatives said they would work with local real estate developers to find suitable tenants to sublease available space after the closings are complete.

    Although concerned about the Taylor Street building being empty after the closing, Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said the city would work to make sure that Taylor Street and all parts of the city are revitalized.

    With the economy strong, commercial buildings in Columbia have been filling up, Coble said.

    News about the closing of the Augusta Road store drew mixed reactions. "I don't want to see it go," said Miranda Oswald, who uses the Eckerd. She said she will use another Eckerd in West Columbia.

    The closing didn't surprise April Wolfe, who found the store hard to use. A median in the road forces people to do a U-turn to get to the store.

    "It's not that convenient to get in and out," she said.

    Shoppers also have their choice of three pharmacies near the Augusta Road store. There is a pharmacy in a nearby Kroger grocery store and two across the street in West Side Plaza.

    Edition: FINAL
    Section: BUSINESS
    Page: B6
    Record Number: 0003020072
    Copyright (c) 2000 The State

    and when Walgreens went on a blitz opening a new location every 18 hours:

    State, The (Columbia, SC)-January 20, 2007

    There's a Walgreens at almost every major intersection in the Midlands.

    Since 2002, the Illinois-based pharmacy chain has grown its S.C. presence more than five times to 56 stores, up from 11. In the Midlands, there now are seven stores.

    Its most recent store opening was in November at the Village at Sandhill in Northeast Richland. Also, there's a sign announcing the construction of a Walgreens at Joyce Street and Charleston Highway in West Columbia.

    Ken Stiverson, manager of the store in the village, said Friday that Northeast Richland residents welcome the new Walgreens. It is one of only two national specialty drugstore retailers in the immediate area. The other is a CVS Pharmacy store farther down Clemson Road.

    "We're very happy with sales. The store has done well. It's only two to three months old," Stiverson said.

    The Walgreen Co. has been in rapid-expansion mode since about 2000.

    "We're opening a new store every 18 hours (nationwide), and our total store count has increased to 5,584 from 3,883 in 2002," corporate spokeswoman Carol Hively said. Walgreens also has invested an estimated $175 million in a warehouse distribution center in Anderson, which will open this summer, Hively said.

    Walgreens -- like its major competitors CVS and Eckerd -- has sought to capture more sales and market share by expanding store stock beyond medicines. These days, drugstore retailers sell milk, eggs, cheese, photo reprints and holiday decor.

    Britt Beemer, a retail analyst and chairman of the Charleston-based America's Research Group, said the industry has been moving in this direction for the past decade.

    "The drugstore industry is trying to figure out who (it) is. They feel they can (expand) and become the alternative to the convenience store," Beemer said.

    And Walgreens employees say this is a good move. Stiverson said not only do prescriptions sell well, but also photo services and cosmetics. "Our customers like the convenience," he said.

    * * *


    Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill. Sales: $49.9 billion in 2006, an increase of 14.3 percent from 2005 Employees: 142,000 Stores: 5,584 (47 states and Puerto Rico) S.C. stores: 56 Stock symbol: WAG

    SOURCE: Yahoo! Finance and Walgreens(dot)com

    Edition: FINAL
    Section: BUSINESS
    Page: A12
    Record Number: 0701220419
    Copyright © 2007 The State


    11 Sep 11 at 3:59 pm

  12. Thanks for posting that article, Andrew. I remember reading it years back after we got the news that we were shutting down.

    On a somewhat related note, Jim Spivey was the store manager at this location at the time of it's closing. Wish I knew what became of him, he was a hell of a guy to work for. I don't look back fondly about my time with Eckerd very much, but I did have a good time working at this one, as brief as it was.


    9 Oct 11 at 3:41 pm

  13. This Eckerd opened in September, 1999 and closed in April, 2000, Dollar General opened by Early 2002, and has been there ever since then.

  14. This location was open long before September of ‘99. I started there in June 1999 (became an assistant manager that November) after working at the Airport Blvd/Charleston Highway location for two years. This store was in operation as early as 1997 that I remember.


    17 Nov 22 at 9:18 pm

  15. This was a short-lived store

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