Glenview manager feels ‘badly’ about closing

Glenview Apothecary pharmacy, located atop Spring Street in Oil City’s North Side business district, will close Wednesday.

“It is certainly not something we planned,” said Jim Himes, whose father started the independent pharmacy in 1968.

Himes, who took over ownership of the business from his father in 1983, marked 50 years in business in 2018. That same year, he began looking for a buyer in order to achieve “more resources to keep us open” amid the growing conglomeration of much larger company-owned pharmacies.

A buyer was found and in August 2018 Glenview Apothecary was purchased by Stay Local Health LLC out of North Carolina. The company specialized in buying independent pharmacies and keeping them open, said Himes.

“We didn’t make any announcement about the sale because we were assured everything would stay the same, the services as well as the employees,” said Himes, who continued as pharmacist and store manager.

The business model, said Himes, was to “keep our independent pharmacy up and running.”

That didn’t happen.

“Part of the deal was that there would be no change in our business and so we carried on,” said Himes. “We sold it because we believed it would help us progress and remain independent.”

That scenario changed dramatically on Monday.

Himes said the North Carolina-based owner notified Himes and his wife, Gretchen, that the business has been sold and Glenview Apothecary would close as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The new owner of customers’ lists, pharmaceutical licenses and more would be Rite-Aid.

“The owner did not provide the help they promised to us,” said Himes. “It has been quick – Rite-Aid already has our files,” said Himes.

Glenview Apothecary has seven employees and, to date, “no one has made them a job offer yet,” said the pharmacist.

As for the building, a former Domino’s Pizza Shop that Himes and his father purchased in 1991 and extensively remodeled, it may soon be put up for sale by the Stay Local Health company.

For Himes, the unexpected store closing is troubling.

“I seriously regret very much that sale to the North Carolina company. We did it because we wanted to stay in business, even though it was not really profitable, and believed a company that emphasized that it helps independents would help us do that. I feel very, very badly about all of this. I wanted to keep my dad’s legacy going.”

Glenview Apothecary, one of the few remaining independent pharmacies in the region, was popular with customers who benefited from Himes and his staff assisting with new insurance plans, finding alternative and less costly prescription products, working directly with physicians and hospitals and offering a delivery service.

The business also had a retail shop featuring holiday items, greeting cards, medical supplies and equipment.