The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 18, 2012

Wally Kennedy: Walgreens to expand local scope

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens early next month when Walgreens takes over the two Drug Warehouse stores in Joplin and the May’s Drug that operates in Webb City.

The acquisition, announced in early July, closes Sept. 1.

The transaction includes 144 stores currently operated as USA Drug, Super D Drug, May’s Drug, Med-X and Drug Warehouse stores in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Officials with Walgreens, based in Deerborn, Ill., have said they have not decided how the stores will operate the USA Drug brands under the Walgreens umbrella. The company plans to continue to operate the stores under their current names for now.

Jim Graham, a spokesman for Walgreens, in a telephone interview last week, said, “We won’t be able to make any announcements until after Sept. 1. We are reviewing store coverage and how we are serving various markets. We want to harmonize our businesses ... while exceeding the expectations of our customers. We expect to continue to operate a significant number of the acquired stores.’’

May’s Drug and Drug Warehouse long have had a presence in the local market. USA Drug bought May’s and Drug Warehouse from chief executive officer Gerald Heller in 2004. May’s opened in 1937. One of the earliest stores was at 16th and Main streets in Joplin.

The local stores are at 1410 E. Seventh St. and 3222 S. Main St., in Joplin, and at 1636 S. Madison Ave., in Webb City.

I cannot speak for the Webb City store, but I do know that the stores in Joplin do a brisk business in liquor sales.

Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain, with 7,907 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Tapas anyone?

A new restaurant, Table Mesa Bistro, is coming to the Gryphon Building, 1027 S. Main St.

The owners of this dining concept operate a similar restaurant in Bentonville, Ark., that specializes in tapas and botanas with a Latin flare. The menu for the restaurant in Bentonville features an assortment of sandwiches and salad, and Mexican dishes that appear to be quite extraordinary.

This could be a welcome and unique addition to Joplin’s restaurant offerings.

Stay tuned for details.

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