Kings Pharmacy, at 639 E. Park Ave., closed abruptly on Monday after it was acquired by Rite Aid, to the chagrin of some customers who said they relied on the neighborhood pharmacy for its convenience and familiar staff.
The business’s last day was Sunday, and the Rite Aid at the Waldbaum’s Shopping Center has taken over its prescriptions after purchasing the business from its owner, Rajendraprasad Venigalla, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. The terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Rite Aid began serving Kings Pharmacy customers on Monday.
“We expect a seamless transition for customers,” said Eric Harkreader, a public relations specialist for the Rite Aid Corporation, which is headquartered in Camp Hill, Pa. “For the convenience of current Kings customers, existing prescription records and refills are now automatically available at the Long Beach Rite Aid.”
Harkreader said that Rite Aid has expanded its free daily prescription delivery service to accommodate Kings Pharmacy and other Rite Aid customers. It now offers delivery three times a day, Monday through Saturday, and new customers will have access to Rite Aid’s full array of pharmacy services.
Kings Pharmacy East Inc. was one of two Kings locations in Long Beach, though the other pharmacy, at 1054 W. Beech St., has different ownership.
“They can come here if they want,” a technician at the West End location said of customers who need to fill prescriptions.
The news came as a shock to some. Wally Goetz, owner of the Lido Kosher Deli next door to the Park Avenue Kings, said that its closure was the topic of conversation among customers and neighboring businesses on Monday. “The only ones I’m concerned about are the poor schnooks who worked there for so many years,” Goetz said, adding that the pharmacy’s employees had only a few days’ notice. “A lot of them don’t have other jobs to go to. Everybody is very surprised … That store always had a strong business; they always did well. They just unloaded all of the shelves. Everybody is walking by and asking, ‘What happened?’”