Lights out!

Recently the Osco Pharmacy is our neighborhood changed hands as part of CVS Pharmacy’s purchase of about 700 Osco and Sav-on drug stores. I personally saw the change as a positive one, given that I always felt like I was rushing to get to Osco before they closed at 8:00 pm.

Several weeks after the changeover, I need to pick something up at the drug store and drove there at about 8:40 pm. To my surprise the CVS signs were all unlit and the parking lot was dark, despite the fact that CVS supposedly had extended hours at this location through 10:00 pm on weeknights. I could see light through the glass doors of the store, so I guessed that maybe they were experiencing a power outage and went inside. (If I had been in a more pessimistic frame of mind that evening, I might instead have thought a robbery was underway.)

The inside of the store was brightly lit, and when I “helpfully” informed the clerk that their outside lights were all dark, she simply replied that they were having problems with the lights. I thought that was that and didn’t pursue the matter. Over the next several weeks, however, I noticed whenever I drove past the CVS Pharmacy between 8:00 and 10:00 pm, they signs and outdoor lights were always turned off.

Finally about a month later when I stopped in the CVS again, I asked the pharmacist what was going on. He explained that when the store was an Osco outlet, the signs and lighting (both indoor and outdoor) were all controlled by a timer. In an extreme example of corporate headquarters not trusting the individual stores, the timers were set up so that they could not be adjusted by store personnel. So even though closing time now was 10:00 pm, the lights automatically turned off at 8:00 pm. Fortunately for the employees, they had at least figured out a way to override the indoor lighting so they could turn that back on when the timer turned it off. But unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be a way to override the timer for the signs and outdoor lighting.

According to the pharmacist, the store staff had contacted their new management at CVS headquarters, but nothing had been done yet about the issue. I figure that once management sees the sales for that store and realizes that virtually no one is stopping in after 8:00 pm, then they might see fit to resolve the problem.

2 thoughts on “Lights out!”

  1. I now work for CVS; I used to work for a company that was bought by CVS. Your hope that “once management sees the sales for that store and realizes that virtually no one is stopping in after 8:00 pm, then they might see fit to resolve the problem” might be a vain hope.
    From our experience, I’d say that nobody at the Woonsocket headquarters has the capability to watch/analyze your local store’s sales, and they don’t want to hear suggestions from your local store’s managers/pharmacist about how to fix things.
    I may be wrong, but I expect your local CVS store to stay dark after 8 PM for months, if not years.

  2. Update:
    Apparently this issue at our local CVS Pharmacy finally has been resolved — I’ve driven passed that CVS after 9:00 pm several times during the last two weeks, and the store lights and outdoor signs all were lit up.

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