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CNBNews Archives July 2008:

RxD Pharmacy Leaves Gloucester City

Saturday, July 26, 2008

 By Stephen N. Roche

  The RXD Pharmacy at 525 Monmouth St. closed for good on Tuesday, July 22, according to pharmacist and store manager Al Zeises, interviewed by the News on July 16. 

The store was across the street from the Comcast office left vacant when it moved to Audubon this past spring, as soon as Comcast's contract with Gloucester City expired. 

    Zeises was in his 21st year at the pharmacy, which he said opened several years before he arrived there, replacing the old Quality Drug store at the site.  RXD will also close three stores in Camden, ending its retail presence - as RXD - in New Jersey altogether.  Stores in Erial and Blackwood were closed many years ago, Zeises said, and another, in Collingswood, closed just five years ago.  RXD's corporate headquarters remains on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood.  

    In addition to Zeises and a few fill-in pharmacists two or three evenings each week, the store employed five women, four of them from Gloucester City.  Five-year employee Wendy Burns, Carolyn Hans, Charline

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 Evans and Amy Rusk, all from this city, and 18-year RXD employee Penny Soboleski, of Erial, said they were offered the opportunity to apply for jobs at the Rite Aid in the Brooklawn ShoppingCenter, but none seemed interested in taking the offer - for now.  Zeises said he expects he will go there.  "I don't even know where it is," he said. "They told me it used to be an Eckerd's." Across the street sits two vacant store, one at

Across the street sits two vacant stores. One at 520 Monmouth Street was used for several decades as the local office for the cable company. To rent it call Labbree Reality at 456-8228. The other store, at 524 Monmouth Street was a jewelry store and most recent the office for a spring water company. That is up For Sale, realtor is Hambleton-Floating_docks_010 Stewart Realty call 456-3144. 

    "We just found out Friday (July 11)," Burns said.  The news came as a shock to local customers and to the next-door Gloucester City Grocery Store as well, as workers there wondered who, if anyone, would occupy the drug store premises after Tuesday. 

    The 525 Monmouth property had been leased by RXD for nearly 25 years, originally from Wally Funk, Zeises said, but there have been a number of successive owners since then.  He said he was not aware who the current owner is. 

    The longtime pharmacist said he felt continuing and increasing difficulty receiving insurance company payments over the past few years, despite a brisk pharmacy business with many steady customers, was the main reason for the corporate decision to close even active stores at this time. 

    Contacted early last Thursday, Robert Milner, Chairman of RXD Inc., echoed what Zeises stated regarding the reasons for the New Jersey closings. "It's the economy," Milner said.  "The PBMs (Payment Benefit Managers) at the insurance companies aren't compensating us sufficiently to keep up with our costs.  We will be merging our operations with Rite Aid Corp." to increase the company's leverage with product providers, reduce costs and, hopefully, increase revenues.  RXD's remaining branded retail holdings consist of five stores in Philadelphia and upstate Pennsylvania. 

    The store's closing leaves two gaping holes in the city's retail district at a time when contracted consultants, the Urban Enterprise Zone and the Gloucester City Business Association have been cooperating with city officials to attract new businesses and retain existing ones, especially in the Monmouth Street and Broadway areas. 

    Reminded that the Monmouth Street store has had a large pedestrian clientele, chairman Milner said "It's a shame.  We're assuring everyone that their records will go to the Rite Aid in Brooklawn, and their doctors can call in their usual prescriptions and have them delivered.  We expect Al will be there and take good care of them." 

Comments: 

Optimistic said...

The Monmouth Street shopping district thrived prior to the mass popularity of the automobile. There is inadequate parking and Americans, sadly, have gotten out of the habit of walking for any purpose other than exercise. Consequently, if you find yourself in your car buckling your seat belt, there are less expensive places right here in Gloucester City to purchase just about anything you could buy at RxD. America has a free market economy that promotes survival of the fittest. I am very sad to see RxD close. It is another clear indication that 1950's era Gloucester City is disappearing (It's already disappeared nearly everywhere else). We have to re-imagine this town by banding together and being as energetic and creative as we can. Gloucester has dozens of great assets: most of all its people. It has good, almost brand new schools, great parks, beautiful ball fields, a clean river and a couple of nice ponds, new houses being built (at a time where new construction is nearly nonexistent in surrounding communities), more local kids than ever going to college, more local kids graduating from college, and a prime location across two bridges from the 6th largest city in the United States. Many surrounding towns are envious of all of the potential we have here. Please try to make an effort to volunteer, run for a board, help coach a team, start a scout troop or help an existing one--get involved--and become part of the solution to help Gloucester become more wonderful than ever.

 
 
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Furious said...

Our Board of Education has hired 30 out-of-town teacher's aides and a half dozen out of town maintenance workers and cafeteria workers. That's nearly a million dollars in wages and benefits going to out-of-towners for jobs that could have very easily been worked by Gloucester City residents. There is absolutely no excuse for the Gloucester City Board of Education not to advertise every single job opening in the Gloucester City News so that Gloucester City residents can apply for them. No wonder why local businesses are closing--our tax dollars are all going out-of-town. The School Board election can't get here soon enough. Out with the incumbents! Bring Gloucester jobs back to Gloucester City.

 
 

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