By Rachael Moore,, Special Correspondent
Carriage Towne News
---- — The start of school and the earlier sunsets have started which means that right around the corner is the dreaded cold and flu season. As frustrating as keeping away from the cold and flu can get, there is a new pharmacy in Plaistow that will make navigating the next few virus filled months a bit easier.
Walgreens is a popular pharmaceutical chain, but as Manager Tabrez Qureshi says, “Our Plaistow location is a bit different from some of the others.” Located at 3 Plaistow Road, the brand new site that opened on August 16th is what Walgreens calls a wellness store.
“It’s set up so that we are more available to customers. We can greet them, assist them with sales, and have them check-out with our full attention,” explains Qureshi. The wellness store concept includes an open store layout, which makes assistance from employees a lot more accessible. Even the pharmacist, normally behind a wall and usually not seen until prescription help is needed, sits at a desk in front of the pharmacy.
“It removes that gatekeeper from healthcare,” pharmacist Glenn Raymond says. “We’re readily available to answer questions and be of assistance.”
Accessibility to the best services Walgreens can offer is this store’s priority. There are many hot deals available in store as well as competitive pricing, rewards opportunities, and discounts. Every Monday is Senior Savings day, and customers 55 or older can get 15% off of brand items and 20% off of any Walgreens brand item. Through October 15th they have a Friends and Family coupon offering 15-20% off purchases. Every Tuesday and Thursday the already competitively priced photo department offers 10 cent prints, compared to what are normally between 29 and 41 cents.
Conveniently, Walgreens also offers a web pick-up option, where they can shop online and have their order sent directly to the store. The order will be bagged and ready to go when they come in to pay for it.
Store hours are 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and unlike many other stores, the pharmacy holds the same hours. Instead of trying to track down special hours or feeling the frustration of walking up to a closed pharmacy, customers can relax and know that if the store is open, so is the pharmacy.
Currently, the pharmacy has a lot to offer as Raymond explains. “In the state of New Hampshire, we can offer three immunizations: the seasonal flu, pneumonia, and shingles.”
There are also free blood pressure checks, done by a pharmacist. Every pharmacist at Walgreens is trained to do them, eliminating the inaccuracies some of the blood pressure machines may give when not properly maintained. In the future, they hope to expand health testing to include services such as glucose and body mass index (BMI) testing, all done by a pharmacist. These are perfect examples of the one-on-one customer service experience the store is striving for.
“We’ll do reminder and follow up calls as well,” says Raymond. “A lot of times you go into the doctor and don’t have any questions about your prescription, but three days later that may change and we can answer any questions and check on the side effects.”
Walgreens also offers a Balance Rewards card, giving customers access to special sale prices within the store and bonus points on items. One-thousand bonus points equals out to $1.00 off of your purchase, and some prescriptions are eligible for Balance Rewards. Eligible 30 day prescriptions gain 500 points, while 90 day prescriptions gain 1500 points.
Raymond offers his advice for staying well in cold and flu season: “Your hands are your biggest method of transmission. Wash them regularly, keep them away from your face, and stay well-rested and hydrated.”
Walgreens has everything you need to follow his advice, and he and the other pharmacists are always there to answer your health related questions. They also have the flu shot available now!