The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 30, 2016 4:31 am

Southgate Plaza Walgreens store to close Feb. 23

Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette

A Walgreens store on Fort Wayne’s southeast side will close its doors next month. 

The store at 222 E. Pettit Ave. in Southgate Plaza shopping center has been identified as one of 200 underperforming Walgreens the Deerfield, Illinois, company plans to close, City Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, said Friday. Hines said a representative from Walgreens’ national office called Thursday to notify him of the closure. 

Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso confirmed the store’s closure and said the last day of business there will be Feb. 23. The store has operated in that location for about 20 years.

"It’s important to remember that the community will remain well-served by Walgreens," Caruso said, noting there are 15 stores in Fort Wayne.

Prescription files stored at the Southgate Walgreens will be transferred to the Walgreens at 1701 E. Paulding Road.

"Customers won’t need to take any action, the transfer is going to be automatic," Caruso said. "Pharmacy patients will get a letter in the mail with details about the transfer."

The company expects most of the employees will remain with Walgreens through the closure process. Caruso added that Walgreens is working on making opportunities available for the employees at the closing store. 

The closure comes during a time when Mayor Tom Henry’s administration has put renewed focus on bringing more business – particularly retail and restaurants – to the city’s southeast side. Learning of the closure Friday, mayoral spokesman John Perlich said the administration is disappointed.

"We remain optimistic that 2016 is going to be a positive year for investments and additional retail opportunities in southeast Fort Wayne," Perlich said.

"We’re committed to increasing economic development in south Fort Wayne. We believe there are opportunities for growth and we’re going to continue to pursue those. We’re also encouraged by the recent hiring of Indigo Centers to work on our behalf to attract more retail to the area."

While he said it’s a shame to see Walgreens go, Hines hopes the space can be filled.

Hines said he has a Feb. 13 meeting with Indigo Centers – the Southfield, Michigan, consulting firm the city is paying to help market south Fort Wayne to businesses.

"This might be an opportunity to have a high-traffic location come available," Hines said.

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