CVS abandons an Eckerd’s concept

Welcome back loyal reader in this week’s post we’re talking about a CVS location that started out life as Eckerd. Most Houstonians can recall when Eckerd went away and CVS debuted in Houston. Many within our fair city thought that this was a long planned transition and a national phasing out of the chain. It at least seemed that way from the customer point of view. Based on the statements CVS was making it seemed that Eckerd was set to disappear from the entire country the reality was that CVS had only acquired Eckerd in certain states. Specifically in states they were already expanding into or interested expanding in. However, this decision would end up bring CVS more stores than they would need or in some cases could even handle. The states CVS purchased stores in included Florida, Mississippi, and of course Texas. CVS most recent construction pushes had been in both Texas and Florida and was already about half done by the time Eckerd decided to sell to CVS. Many new locations had been scouted with Eckerd in mind as a competitor. This situation meant that lots of stores would become redundant. While some undeveloped lots could easily be sold, and older Eckerd locations dropped in favor of new CVS stores, this did prove to sometimes be a difficult decision. Case in point with the previously mentioned Bissonett Eckerd.

Another problem CVS had on their hands, were issues with the condition and uniformity of the stores. While Eckerd was no slack about building new locations, they had tons of old strip center stores without any drive-thrus, and sometimes even lacking basics like photo counters. Lots of this had to do with the fact that Eckerd had been in the Houston area for many years and had been operating some of these locations since at least the 1960s. While most of these older locations could easily be closed in favor of building a new CVS, today we’ll take a look at one Eckerd prototype that survived. This was a smaller “neighborhood store”, and while it wasn’t the only Eckerd of this size, it managed to hang on for quite some time. I would guess its closure it due to the fact that CVS cannot add more health related features such as in store clinics, into a store which is already cramped.

 

4 comments

  1. Wow, this place is quite a mess on the outside and especially the inside. While this location might be deemed too small for a CVS, it would not be shocking if the building gets subdivided and Walgreens takes the drive-thru side of the store for a downsized location if they don’t plan on turning their existing store in the area into a Village Medical. Walgreens does not seem to be too picky about their downsized locations as long as they have a drive-thru and this certainly fits that criteria!

    1. I would love to see that, but unfortunately there’s already a Walgreens across the street which was downsized into a newer Village Medical location recently. Driving by a few days ago the liquidators have cleaned up the exterior a little, but I feel this property will end up a dumping spot.

  2. Love that tile on the back and side facades, I always thought it worked well with Eckerd’s blue.

    This seems like a fairly challenging location: wedged between Missouri City, Stafford, Fifth Street, and east Sugar Land and located along FM 1092, which was a bit of a retail graveyard even when this store opened. I’m sure the Walgreens across the road made life more difficult as well. That said, it does seem like Eckerd picked a good store size and format for the area, which was clearly underserved at the neighborhood level even as it had to contend with the fact that area residents often simply looked elsewhere for shopping needs.

    1. You’re totally right about the demographics of this neighborhood. It continues to be essentially a sinkhole for retail. The Walgreens was actually downsized recently for a Village Medical. I think that the smaller store was the better way to go, and had they dropped some sales space for a small clinic, I’m sure it would have worked at least for a bit.

What do you think?