WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A community in Wilson is looking for answers as their pharmacy is set to close down Wednesday evening.
Throughout the day, customers walked through the doors of the Walgreens along Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway for the last time.
City officials said the store helped an under-served community.
“I don’t want it to close, but we can’t stop them, I reckon. I wish I could,” said customer Christine Grimes.
She and her husband get their medicine from the pharmacy, and the closure is frustrating.
“He has to have eye medicine, eyedrops for glaucoma,” Grimes explained. “And I have heart problems, and so I have to keep up with my heart medicine too.”
The couple lives in Stantonsburg, about a 12-minute drive south of the Walgreens location.
Starting Thursday, they’ll have to go even further, with the nearest Walgreens about three miles north.
“I don’t drive at night, and if I was having to go to the doctor and get medicine, this is the only place I would be able to come,” Grimes said.
A customer who lives nearby also spoke with CBS 17. She said she was recently sick and could barely make it to this Walgreens, let alone one across town.
The closure comes after dozens of people rallied outside the store last month, pleading for the it to stay open.
City leaders also got involved, urging people to sign petitions.
It’s an effort that worked when the store almost closed two years ago, but now, eyes are on how to fill the need.
Wilson Mayor Carlton Stevens says the city is looking at what they can do to help.
He told CBS 17 their main objective is to get another pharmacy on the property.
“My hope is hoping a drugstore will stay here,” Grimes said. “One of some kind, it doesn’t matter what kind as long as we’ve got a drugstore here. We need a drugstore! It’s what we need.”
A Walgreens representative released this statement:
“We are aware of and appreciate the concerns of the community. When faced with the difficult decision to close a location, several factors are taken into account, including our existing footprint of stores, dynamics of the local market, and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers, among other reasons. As we expand as a leader in healthcare, we are focused on best meeting the needs of patients and customers in communities we serve by creating the right network of stores in the right locations.”