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StarBulletin.com

CVS buys 2 former Star sites


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POSTED: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CVS/pharmacy, owner of 45 Longs Drugs stores in Hawaii, has acquired two former Star Market store sites on Oahu and the former Star pharmacy property on Kihei.

The former Ewa Beach supermarket building at 91-919 Fort Weaver Road will house a Longs to be opened in the second half of next year, said Mike DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS/pharmacy. The former Moiliili Star Market building at 2470 S. King St. will contain a Longs in the next 18 to 24 months and will replace the nearby store at 2220 S. King St., DeAngelis said.

“;We are tenants at the King Street location, but we will own the new Moiliili location,”; he said.

In addition, the Star Market at 1310 S. Kihei Road transferred its pharmacy operations last week to Longs Drugs at 1215 S. Kihei Road. Former customers of Star Kihei also may fill their prescriptions at the Longs Drugs at 41 E. Lipoa St. in Kihei.

The acquisitions, which had been rumored for months, came on the heels of a buyout of the Star Market chain by Times Supermarket. In preparation for the sale, Times closed the Ewa Beach and Moiliili stores last month. About 17 union workers on Oahu lost their jobs as a result of the change. No union jobs were lost on Maui.

A Hawaii lawmaker blasted Times and Star for failing to return phone calls concerning the shutdown of the Ewa Beach store and “;abandoning”; the community of more than 45,000 people.

“;This transaction of completely closing down until a new Longs Drugs Store opens in almost a year will significantly hurt our smaller retailers, cause a traffic jam at our current Foodland and cause serious hardships for our elderly and disabled who depended on a nearby grocery store,”; said Kymberly Pine (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point). “;These actions by these two retailers are just unacceptable.”;

Pine said Times and Star “;obviously had planned their sale for quite some time and could care less about letting the people of Ewa Beach know that they will not replace the current Star Market with a Times and instead ... replace it with a Longs, which we already have in Ewa Beach.”;

She added that CVS was responsive and willing to listen to the needs of the community.

Rick Ford, area vice president for Longs Drugs in Hawaii, said Longs is “;delighted to expand (its) presence and offer even greater convenience and accessibility.”;

Once renovations are complete, CVS will begin hiring workers to staff the full-service Longs, DeAngelis said.

“;Staffing will be consistent with our other Longs stores in Hawaii,”; he said.

CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corp., operates thousands of CVS/pharmacy stores and just finished re-branding its California Longs stores; however, it will continue to use the popular Longs name at its Hawaii stores, DeAngelis said.

“;We also know that consumers will continue to need access to grocery items they used to buy at Star Markets, and we are committed to ensuring they will find a wide selection of food items at Longs Drugs,”; Ford said.