Earlier this year, Walgreens announced that it would be closing 150 of its U.S. stores by 2024. As it would turn out, the downtown Hoboken location is one of these fated outposts — though the drugstore giant was elusive with the details. Back in October, after reader reports indicated that the 101-105 Washington Street storefront (in the old bank) may permanently close, The Hoboken Girl did some digging into the situation. Our research turned into something of a Walgreens goose chase, but nevertheless, Walgreens confirmed that it would be closing Tuesday, November 7th. Read on for what we know about the Walgreens in downtown Hoboken and its closure.
On Monday, October 23rd, a reader of The Hoboken Girl shared via Instagram DM: “I went to Walgreens today (1st and Washington) to discover its closing in 2 weeks! Permanently. The pharmacy is yet to notify their patients.” This submission wasn’t the only notice HG received regarding Walgreens. Another reader suggested: “You may want to make a Public Service Announcement… Walgreens at Washington and 1st is closing… I asked when and the cashier did not know.”
To confirm the closure, The Hoboken Girl called the Washington Street Walgreens on Tuesday, October 24th. Over the phone, the representative shared that they were not at liberty to disclose that information and that if we wanted to speak with a manager, we’d have to come into the store.
Of course, that’s exactly what we did, but upon inquiring with the store’s managerial representative, The Hoboken Girl was again deferred, this time to Walgreens’ Corporate Media phone number. HG left a message with the number and sent an email to Walgreens customer service, but didn’t receive a response until hours later.
So, here’s what we do know: in July 2023, NJ.com reported that Walgreens plans to close 150 of its national locations by the end of August 2024. Accordingly, “The chain, which operates more than 9,000 locations in the U.S., is closing the stores to cut costs and save approximately $800 million…” Back at the end of October, it was reported that Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid were all independently trying to cut costs, and had similar plans to close locations throughout the country.
One of the readers shared that the current state of Walgreens is enough to indicate closure: “Shelves are half empty, freezer section completely empty… soda section shelves removed.” Another noted that an employee said Walgreens corporate actually owns the old bank building, drawing the conclusion that “Walgreens [might be] subletting the unit out.”
At 2:30PM on October 24th, Walgreens reached out to The Hoboken Girl to confirm that it would be closing on Tuesday, November 7th. In a statement to HG, a Walgreens representative said:
“Our location at 101-105 Washington St., in Hoboken, will indeed close on November 7th.
With Walgreens’ goal to be the independent partner of choice, not just in pharmacy but also in healthcare services where we can improve healthcare, lower costs, and help patients, we are creating the right network of stores in the right locations.
When faced with the difficult decision to close a location, several factors are taken into account, including our existing footprint of stores, dynamics of the local market, and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers, among other reasons.”
Readers are concerned about the closure of the pharmacy because many residents rely on the Walgreens storefront for their monthly prescriptions and other medical needs. The only other big-name pharmacy in the area is the CVS, which at this time, has no reports of closure. There are, however, a number of family-owned pharmacies in the Hoboken + Jersey City area, and you can find a list of those here.
In regards to the pharmacy, Walgreens shared with The Hoboken Girl: “typically, when a store closes our pharmacy patients do not have to take any action. Prescription files automatically transfer to the nearest Walgreens (or Duane Reade). Patients receive notice about the transfer through mail and other means to provide details about continued access to their prescriptions and health and wellness services. And, we make every effort to retain impacted team members at other nearby locations.”
Council candidate Paul Presinzano shared with The Hoboken Girl that, according to a pharmacist at Walgreens, “CVS has bought all the contracts from Walgreens for patients/customers. Everyone’s Rx is getting transferred from Walgreens to CVS. Can still go to local CVS to get Rx.” This is unconfirmed by Walgreens corporate.