Pharmacy owner joining Walgreens crew part-time
By By Adrienne McKenzie
Word is out that within a couple of months, Greenlawn Pharmacy will no longer be operating.
However, the familiar face of Jim Justice, owner of Greenlawn, will still be seen counting pills and filling prescriptions behind a local pharmacy counter.
Justice has sold Greenlawn to Walgreens, but each Greenlawn employee has been offered a position at Walgreens and Justice is the only one thus far who has accepted a position.
"Walgreens made an offer to hire all Greenlawn employees," Justice said. "We had a store meeting last week and they will start interviewing next week. I don't know if my employees will accept a position with Walgreens or not, that is up to them. The only one that will work there for sure is me."
Henry Lowery established Greenlawn in 1956. In the mid-60s, Lowery sold the pharmacy to Ed Ray and Justice bought the business in 1983. The establishment was at 1101 Church Street but Justice sold that building and opened at the current location on Medical Park Drive in November of 1989. Justice opened the DME building in 1993.
Justice sold to Walgreens because the offer they made to him was one he could not pass up.
"Walgreens came in and made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Justice said. "They are a great company and drug store."
Justice feels as if Walgreens holds the same values as Greenlawn.
"They will carry on the tradition of Greenlawn pharmacy," he said. "They have the same philosophy as Greenlawn."
The transition is going to be huge for the town, Justice said.
"This is going to be wonderful for Atmore," he said. "A Walgreens opening in Pensacola is not a big deal but it Atmore, that's a big deal."
Justice is unsure of what will become of the Greenlawn buildings but knows the location will not be another pharmacy.
"We haven't crossed that bridge yet," Justice said. "I know it will not be a drug store. Walgreens has a non-compete contract with me and this location."
The date of closing for Greenlawn is also unsure. When the contractor turns over Walgreens, there will be a 19-day waiting period. During the 19 days, Walgreens will be setting up their store. When that period is over, Greenlawn will close during the weekend and on the following Monday Walgreens will open.
Walgreens offers a lot to Atmore and will be open 365 days a year from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., according to Justice.
"The pharmacy will have shorter hours though," he said. "Walgreens has a full convenience store with grocery items and also has the latest in digital photography."
Walgreens will be bringing in a manager and two assistant managers for the store. It takes 30 to 35 people to staff a Walgreens and Justice only has 22 people on staff at Greenlawn, meaning Walgreens will also need to hire more individuals.
Justice has many emotions about the decision to close but felt it was time.
"It was mixed feelings," he said. "Greenlawn is a part of my life. Time catches up with you though and I can't be there forever."