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CVS store and pharmacy are open to the public, after a soft opening held Sunday. They will celebrate officially with a grand opening this Sunday, said Store Manager Jeff Ash.
The corporately-owned store has one of the prime locations in Duncan retail — located at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 81 and Elk Avenue. The lot sat vacant for years after a fire destroyed the Goodner’s Big G Smokehouse in mid-December of 2007. The landmark restaurant was over 40 years old and constructed with plenty of cedarwood throughout its interior.
The new Duncan store, which has 13,325 square footage in retail space, is the 50th CVS store to open in Oklahoma. Three more are scheduled to open this year — Durant, McAlester and Tulsa. CVS has 7,512 stores nationwide, according to Stephanie R. Pfeifer, District Sales Manager.
Ash, 27, is a longtime Duncan resident, having moved here when he was 6 years old. After high school graduation, he attended Cameron University in Lawton and pursued a degree in multimedia design. He said computers really weren’t for him and enjoys interacting with people. He was in the restaurant business and met someone with CVS who encouraged him to consider the company.
“Here I am, seven weeks into it,” he said Thursday. “I’m definitely excited.” He has a wife, Nika, and 7 month old daughter, Amiah.
Ash is discovering there are many small details that need attention — everything from landscaping to assisting customers find a product. On Thursday, he even took a few minutes to say hello to a customer, Paul Ritter, of Marlow, who was getting assistance from clerk Anita Michael. Ritter, who is a truck driver, was getting a passport photo. It’s one of the services they offer.
The Duncan store currently has 18 employees, Ash said. It is a combined store and pharmacy. Pharmacist is Josh Malone.
Pfeifer said considering a community for a CVS site, means looking at market share, future growth and population size.
“We would love to be involved in things that are dear to Duncan, such as the Toy Shop and Relay For Life,” she said. “The majority of our staff that hired for this store were right out of Duncan and some already participate in these activities and have asked Jeff to get involved.”
CVS recently provided financial support of more than $10,000 to families and communities in Colorado affected by the flash floods in Larimer and Boulder counties. More than 20,000 homes were destroyed, along with washed out roads and bridges. The donation was made to the American Red Cross for shelters and meals, according to the CVS website.