BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Three locally-owned pharmacies that have been on the Greeneville/Greene County scene for decades -- Susong Pharmacy, Howard's Pharmacy and Mosheim Pharmacy -- have been sold to Walgreens and will be closing.
The three stores will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
On Dec. 27, all customer records and files will have been transferred to the two local Walgreens stores, said Susong Pharmacy owner Wayne Susong.
Service will be uninterrupted to customers of the three pharmacies, said Susong.
He is also a long-time part-owner, along with George Sydnor, of Howard's Pharmacy, at 1305 Tusculum Blvd., and of Mosheim Pharmacy, in the Food Country Shopping Center in Mosheim.
"George and I want to thank each and every customer for all their loyalty for all these years and allowing us to serve all their pharmacy needs," Susong said in an interview with The Greeneville Sun on Thursday.
"We're looking forward to them continuing [a] customer relationship with familiar faces as many of our employees will be moving to Walgreens," Susong said.
He emphasized that all customers of the three pharmacies will be able to have their prescriptions filled beginning Dec. 27 at the two local Walgreens stores, located at 1650 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy. and at 104 Asheville Hwy.
Customers of the three pharmacies that will close will be receiving written material in the mail from Walgreens, Susong said.
About 25 employees, including pharmacists, technicians and staff, were informed of the sale on Dec. 12.
'A GREAT PARTNERSHIP'
Susong, who is 65, plans to retire. "It's something we've been contemplating for quite some time," he said Thursday.
Sydnor will continue to be involved in the pharmacy business and will be at the Walgreens on the bypass, Susong said.
"It's been a great partnership," Susong said of his relationship with Sydnor.
Susong has been owner of Susong Pharmacy, at 2255 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy., since 1977.
Susong and Sydnor have been owners of Howard's Pharmacy, at 1305 Tusculum Blvd., since 1990, and owners of Mosheim Pharmacy, at the Food Country Shopping Center in Mosheim, since 1993.
Susong and Sydnor own the buildings on the Bypass and Tusculum Boulevard. Plans are to rent the properties.
OBAMACARE A FACTOR
Asked whether the new health care mandates that will be going into place, commonly known as Obamacare, had any effect on the sale, Susong replied: "Absolutely."
"I knew that the next four years with the current administration would not be favorable [to small businesses]," he said.
"We definitely had incentive to sell before the end of the year. That definitely had a big bearing on whether it [a sale] took place now, or four years from now."
The telephone numbers for the two local Walgreens are:
* Bypass location, 638-4889; and
* Asheville Highway location, 636-8335.