The Walgreens in the Downtown Berkeley area has relocated directly across the street in an effort to utilize new amenities, better serve residents and be more expansive.
Upon entering the new store, customers are greeted by a fresh produce section, a kiosk to serve fresh-brewed coffee and a pharmacy section complete with an open waiting area.
Store manager Olufemi Oyemakinde said the additional space of the new store — located at 2190 Shattuck Ave. and Allston Way — allows for the expression of the pharmacy chain’s motto, which is to live well, be well and stay well.
According to Walgreens media relations specialist Robert Elfinger, the new space is 16,892 square feet — a nearly 5,000 square-foot addition compared to the old store.
According to Oyemakinde, the old store closed on Friday, and the new store opened its doors to the public Monday after taking only two weeks to be put together.
“It’s amazing,” Oyemakinde said. “Just today itself, I think probably 75 percent of our produce has been depleted by people who have been coming in. The store is doing well, and I am excited for its future.”
Walgreens now includes a college and apartment living section, offering items such as towels, cooking appliances and utensils.
One of the more significant additions to the store is a fresh produce section of fruits and vegetables as well as other fresh foods like sushi and chicken salads.
According to John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, the produce section is significant because it is a much closer option for residents in the Downtown Berkeley area to buy fresh produce.
Caner added that the new location will positively improve the Downtown Berkeley area because it is right in the “cultural hub” of the area, since it is located next to the Downtown Berkeley BART station.
Elfinger said the store relocated directly across the street on Shattuck Avenue to evade the busier traffic patterns that were present on the side of the street where the old store was located. Moving to the other side of the street allows for easier access to the new location, he said.
According to Elfinger, the opening of the new Walgreens store has been planned for several years, and the decision to move was not influenced by its rivalry with CVS Pharmacy, which has a store location on Shattuck and Durant avenues near the new Walgreens store.
“We will effect a positive change by providing Downtown the options of various healthy foods,” Oyemakinde said. “There are not many places that offer what we have.”
Contact Pooja Mhatre at [email protected]org.