Thursday, April 26, 2001

Possible drug market
drama in Hawaii

THE nation's largest drugstore operator, CVS Corp., has been sniffing around town for potential locations, although the company won't comment on plans to enter the market.

Commercial real estate agent Steve Sofos said CVS recently inquired about leases for several properties on Oahu.

"I think they're going to open quite a few stores. There's room for competition here," Sofos said.

Hawaii consumers have primarily been served by Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Longs Drug Stores Corp., which has 32 stores in the state, and a total of 430 stores in six western states.

CVS, based in Woonsocket, R.I., operates more than 4,100 retail drugstores and pharmacies in about 30 states. The company acquired its first Hawaii operation in September when CVS bought out Pittsburgh-based Stadtlander Pharmacy for $124 million. Stadtlander had operated a single pharmacy in the Pali Palms Plaza in Kailua, where CVS now runs a ProCare Pharmacy. ProCare, operated in 17 states, specializes in expensive drug therapies for long-term conditions.

Officially, CVS said there's nothing on the table for Hawaii, and Sofos confirmed nothing solid has developed.

"We have no plans to expand our footprint in Hawaii beyond the one store," said CVS spokesman Todd Andrews.

Longs' officials declined comment.

Level playing field

Internet Radio Hawaii broadcaster Robert Abbett ( has a problem with Friday's U.S. Copyright Office decision that radio broadcasters must pay additional fees for simulcasting programming on the Internet.

"Nobody's making any money but everybody wants a piece of it," he said.

He pays the American Society of Composers Artists and Publishers $264 per year to Webcast music it licenses.

He also has to pay fees to Broadcast Music International. "BMI starts at about $500 and can go up depending on how much you make," he said.

He's just learned of another licensing body to pay, known as SESAC (which once stood for Society of European Stage Authors & Composers). That'll be about $75, he said.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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