After working for 38 years at Phred’s Drug, Jean Ricci won’t be interviewing for a job with CVS, when Phred’s closes its doors for the last time on Nov. 29.
“I don’t want to cry for a month,” Ricci said Tuesday at the pharmacy counter at the back of the store. Like other employees, Ricci learned Monday that the business, founded by Michael J. Rossi Jr. in 1955 and owned and operated by three generations of the Rossi family, was being sold to CVS.
A pharmacy technician and in charge of Phred’s delivery system, Ricci said working for Phred’s is “like being in a big family.” That was evident as customers greeted Ricci, shared news and lamented over how changing times will mean the loss of another locally owned store.
Teddy Scripsack is one of those loyal Phred’s customers. A retired Cranston firefighter, he started frequenting the shore when it was on Cranston Street, before its move to Oaklawn Avenue. Scripsack now lives in Barrington but he still comes to Phred’s to get his prescriptions filled. He won’t be making the trip anymore.
Pharmacist Charles Rossi, who runs the store now, was not on site Tuesday morning.
In a CVS release Rossi said, “As the owner of Phred’s Drug, my family and I have had the pleasure of serving Rhode Island residents for 62 years and would like to thank all of our patients and employees for their loyalty and dedication. Phred’s has long been a part of the Rhode Island health care community. With the health care landscape changing day to day, we felt that CVS Health was better positioned to best serve the pharmacy needs of our patients and employees now and in the future. We are grateful to have been able to care for our many patients and we are confident that CVS Pharmacy will provide the same top-notch customer service and pharmacy expertise we have provided at Phred’s.”
CVS said pharmacy files, insurance information and pharmacy inventory will be transferred confidentially to the CVS Pharmacy store located at 1195 Oaklawn Ave. in Cranston. CVS is not purchasing the building.
“CVS Pharmacy knows that Phred’s has been providing trusted pharmacy care for its patients for decades, and we are excited to continue that tradition,” Alisa Ulrey, Division Vice President for CVS Pharmacy, said in the release. “We are looking forward to introducing our industry-leading products and services to Phred’s patients and are committed to ensuring that their pharmacy needs are not only met but exceeded.”
According to Amy Lanctot, senior manager of public relations for CVS, all former Phred’s employees will be given the opportunity to interview with CVS for employment, if they so choose.
CVS is not disclosing how much money they spent to acquire the pharmacy.