Dillons Pharmacy Closes Shop in Joplin

Dillons Pharmacy Closes Shop in Joplin
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Margy Harkins has shopped at Dillons for 20 years

“Shocked. I called this morning to leave a prescription and I got the other recording for Walgreens.”

She drove to the Dillons to check what was going on. Now that it’s closed she says she’ll miss it.

“Oh yes, I’ve got to know the people and that’s the way it is,” says Harkins.

Officials at Dillons say business at the new pharmacy in Joplin which opened after the tornado have seen double digit declines in prescription orders from last year without the aid of the grocery store.

They say rebuilding a market at the former location on 20th street would be impossible because of the city’s new railroad project.

“According to our discussions with the city those entrances had been condemned as part of the planned railroad bridge,” says Dillons Spokesperson Sheila Lowrie.

Although all access points will be blocked on 20th street due to the railroad project, there’s nothing stopping Dillons from using the entryways already here on New Hampshire.

Absolutely, they can. Their property is still developable,” says Joplin Public Works Director Nick Heatherly.

City officials say the retaining walls holding up the new overpass above the train tracks will block the north side of the property.

But their intention was not to shut out Dillons.

“Well very little impact on the frontage as far as how much of the property is actually being physically impacted. Again, the entrance areas have to be transferred over to New Hampshire but other than that there’s very little bit of the property has been needed to secure the necessary right away to build the overpass,” says Heatherly.

Dillons says it didn’t take the decision to leave town lightly.

“We’re grateful to the eight pharmacists for their dedicated service to Joplin and we are working individually with them to seek continued employment with us here at Dillons. And we’re also very appreciative of our loyal customers who had continued to shop with us at the pharmacy.”

But for many longtime Dillons customers like Harkins, Walgreens wouldn’t be their first choice.

“Well not really. It’s a little further away. I’m probably going to Walmart,” says Harkins.