BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The arrival of Walgreens to the community took a giant leap this week, as workers emptied the remaining merchandise and equipment from the Express Mart, located at the corner of North Main and Howard, across the intersection from the current Rite-Aid.
The sale of the property — known as 1519 N. Main — includes the property previously occupied by the convenience store and a car wash located behind the store. According to county documents, the sale of the property by Joan C. Fillmore to Cap Tarboro, LLC, a Greenville, S.C. business, closed on May 2 in the amount of $1,104,000.
Calls to Walgreens corporate office in Deerfield, Ill. were not returned by press time.
The most recent discussion of Walgreens’ coming to town began last year and culminated in November when Town Manager Alan Thornton told The Daily Southerner, “The discussion has been under way for the better part of six months.” Thornton said town planner Josh Edmondson was working with Walgreen’s and was “waiting on a couple of pieces of information” to finalize the deal.
Previous efforts to locate a store at the corner of Howard and Western failed in early 2006.
According to Walgreens, the average store is about 14,500 square feet and contains a sales floor of about 11,000 square feet.
Walgreens will become the sixth drug store in Tarboro, joining Bryan Drugs’ two locations, Rite Aid, Thorne Drugs and Walmart. Bryan is in the process of building a new store across from Vidant Edgecombe Hospital as it prepares to vacate the Vidant Multispecialty Clinic.
With 8,469 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, Walgreens is the largest drug store chain in the world. The company has added 279 locations through the first 10 months of the year and is on track to fill 784 million prescriptions this year.
The new store is expected to take about 9-10 months — weather permitting — to construct once all documents are executed, permit hurdles cleared and approval received from the town council.