Shelbyville, Ky. (WDRB News) -- It has been a familiar drug store in Shelby County for more than a decade. But the locally owned business is giving way for a national chain to take ownership.
An era comes to an end there when CVS takes over in late September. Smith-McKenney is Shelby County's last independently owned drug store.
"CVS has come in and told me they are going to continue to provide the services to my patients that I have provided," says owner-pharmacist Greg Hayse.
He says running a small independent drug store has become just too complicated in today's world. "There is more government regulation," says Hayse, "just a host of problems, re-reimbursements have gone down, we frequently lose money on prescriptions now."
In the back of the store there's a shelf that traces the 108-year history of the store, including some gadgets that have long been replaced by computers.
In addition to filling prescriptions, Hayse is spending a lot of time these says reassuring loyal customers that the staff will be retained.
Despite the reassurance, 40-year customer Jack Kimbrough worries about the changes coming. "The community will really miss it," says Kimbrough, "they offer good service and you just don't know what you will be getting into."
Brenda White, who works the front counter, hopes to keep the job she says she loves. "I am a little nervous about it," she says. "It is going to be a big change for all of us."
Hayse plans to stay on for awhile after the new owners take over but says he's getting near retirement age. He started working at the store while attending pharmacy school, so it's a bittersweet ending. "In 1973, I graduated and became a full-time pharmacist," he says, "I have been here 40 years so I know most of the people who come here, it is very hard."
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