The CVS located in The Commons may close in January, people with knowledge of the situation told The Spectrum Tuesday.
The popular convenience store serves as a crucial resource for many students and community members, especially those without easy access to transportation. The Spectrum spoke to students and employees who expressed concern that closing the campus CVS would negatively impact the student body.
UB currently offers the Mall and Market Shuttle to Walmart and the Boulevard Mall every Saturday. The university also arranges for Wednesday bus trips to Wegmans. But for some students, this isn’t enough.
“It’s really accessible and it’s really easy to go to CVS instead of having to take that bus,” freshman occupational therapy major Ariana Mikaya said. “I used to go there like every Wednesday to get anything that I needed.”
Christopher Muñoz Guzmán, a sophomore business administration major, says that the closure of the campus CVS would be “detrimental” to campus life.
“That’s where I go to get my medicine when I’m sick on campus,” Guzmán said. “I don’t have transportation to go to the store, so even getting essentials like chargers or toothpaste is always critical.”
Shannen Kaufman, a CVS employee for the last 4 ½ years, was so peeved by the potential closure that she spoke to The Spectrum about it on-the-record Tuesday — even as she risked losing her job.
“I genuinely do believe that if a lot of people express outrage [and] concerns to the [CVS] customer service line, they might reconsider closing the store,” Kaufman said. “This is the only store I want to work at so CVS is effectively taking my job away anyway. So that means that I’m risking getting fired, [and] it’s a risk I’m willing to take.”
Employees were informed of the closure at a “mandatory staffing meeting” on Sunday at noon. The store manager told employees that the “store was lucky to even make $100 in a day” during the pandemic, leading to its anticipated closure.
“She hit us with this really difficult news and it was hard for her, too,” Kaufman said. “Like, she and the other upper level managers and leadership were absolutely shocked. They didn’t know what to say because who really knows what to say when the store has been there for so long?”
Sydney Duval, a sophomore media study major, says she was going to go to CVS Monday to pick up her essentials.
“I don’t feel like going all the way down to South [Campus] 30-40 minutes, there and back, just to get basic needs,” she said. Duval added that she gets “half” of her basic items from the campus CVS, and that residence hall convenience stores won’t be able to fill that void.
CVS and The Commons are both private entities. UB does not have any jurisdiction over the decision-making process.
The Spectrum reached out to director of marketing and communications for Campus Dining and Shops Raymond Kohl, who didn’t respond in time for publication. Kaufman said she hopes students and parents reach out to CVS, to urge the business to reconsider its decision.
Jack Porcari is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Jack Porcari is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science major with a minor in journalism. Aside from writing and editing, he enjoys playing piano, flow arts, reptiles and activism.