BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — CVS Caremark Corp. opened two stores on this Caribbean island last month, marking the first of what it says will be nine drug stores in yet another new market for the company.
The two units — one here in this San Juan suburb and one in San Juan itself — officially opened on February 15.
“CVS is committed to providing high-quality pharmacy care and offering convenient products and services at a great value to the Puerto Rican community,” CVS/pharmacy president Larry Merlo comments.
While the CVS stores here offer the same array of products and services found in the chain’s mainland outlets — a full-service pharmacy; an extensive line of health and beauty items, including many brands; and a wide variety of general merchandise and digital photoprocessing — the stores also stock a variety of items unique to the Puerto Rican market.
A CVS spokesman explains that more than 12,000 products carried in the stores are being sourced from local companies, with many of the items manufactured in Puerto Rico.
Future locations on the island will include two more stores in Bayamon and outlets in the towns of Arecibo, Dorado, Fajardo, Vega Alta and Vega Baja.
As part of its entry into Puerto Rico, CVS donated $10,000 to Instituto Psicopedagogico de PR, a Bayamon-based agency that provides specialized health, nutrition, education, and essential care to adults and children in Puerto Rico with severe mental retardation.
CVS’ entry into Puerto Rico is the latest in a spate of new market entries for the company.
After opening its first stores in St. Louis earlier this year, CVS opened its first store in Memphis in early February.
The company plans to open two more stores in the Memphis market later this year, and executives say more stores are planned for the area over the next few years.
In conjunction with its entry into Memphis, CVS was recognized for its efforts to raise money for the city’s St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since 2004 CVS has raised $16 million through its participation in the hospital’s annual Thanksgiving holiday fund-raising campaign to support the expansion of the hospital’s rehabilitation services center.
After the grand opening of CVS’ first store in Memphis, the hospital held a ceremony to dedicate the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center.
Hospital executives noted that help from companies like CVS is critical to the facility’s success. “Partners like CVS Caremark help ensure that every child who comes through our doors has hope for a brighter future,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fund-raising organization of St. Jude.