PEMBROKE — Last year North Carolina drugstore Kerr Drugs was officially by the nation’s largest drug retailer, Walgreens. In an effort to show community involvement, this week one of the former Kerr Drugs locations is having an official ribbon-cutting service, which will coincide with a wellness fair.
On Thursday at 11 a.m., the newly renamed Walgreens, located on 503 E. Third St., will be celebrating its new identity by reintroducing itself.
“Like the other Kerr locations, we actually made the switch over about three months ago, but upon joining the Chamber of Commerce here, they had mentioned that when a new business joins, they tend to set up a ribbon-cutting,” said Brent Nye, manager of the store. “I figured, anything that is going to help make people more aware and get us more involved in the community, I am in favor of.”
Immediately following the ribbon-cutting, attendees will have a chance to receive free giveaway items, meet with fitness experts from Southeastern Lifestyle Fitness Center and tour Walgreen’s official wellness bus, which will provide locals with free cholesterol and glucose tests, blood pressure tests and a comprehensive weight assessment.
Though the retail giant boasts more than 8,600 locations compared with what was 76 Kerr Drug locations, Nye says that there is far more of a focus on community involvement within the Walgreens corporation.
“For the past three or four years it has been a corporate initiative to get more community involvement,” Nye said. “In the district I had come from, it was considered Raleigh West, very spread out, but with about 35 stores, we would do, easily about 150 community events a year. A lot of our big ones are Relay For Life, and getting involved with senior centers … My favorite one has been getting involved with the Special Olympics … The kids faces just light up when you give them that extra attention. Kerr never really got involved in stuff like that.”
Since taking over as manager two months ago, Nye said he has been communicating with his staff, hoping to find community interests that Walgreens can help bring awareness to.
“Whether we are helping a local animal shelter get pets adopted or a local Boys & Girls Club, it is just a true win-win,” Nye said. “It helps you feel good about what you are doing, but it is also helpful to the company, with attracting attention, though that isn’t really the main reason to do it.”
Walgreens was founded in 1901 in Chicago by Charles R. Walgreens Sr.