CVS bringing new stores to Freehold Township, Eatontown; others will close

June 16, 2018

By David P. Willis | Asbury Park Press

New CVS Pharmacy stores are coming to Eatontown and Freehold Township.

Both freestanding stores will replace nearby CVS pharmacies located in shopping centers. Those stores will close once the new ones open, a company spokeswoman said.

The first, on West Main Street near Redwood Lane in Freehold Township, is expected to open this fall, a spokeswoman said. Construction already is well underway. It will replace another CVS located nearby at Raintree Plaza.

The second, on Route 35 at Tinton Avenue, across from the entrance to Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, is expected to open in the fall of 2019, the spokeswoman told What’s Going There in a statement. Workers have yet to knock down the old Exxon station. “They are actively moving on that,” Eatontown Mayor Dennis Connelly said.

The nearest CVS is located at Shrewsbury Plaza on Route 35.

Both stores will be about 13,000 square feet with a drive-through lane, and approximately 60 parking spots.

Why would CVS look to open new stores when they already have a store open nearby?

Since CVS stopped selling tobacco products in 2014, the company has pivoted to sell more natural, organic and healthy food, retail analyst Burt Flickinger III said. “They want to be a substitute supermarket alternative to ShopRite so a person doesn’t have to spend an hour walking through 19 aisles of a ShopRite,” he said.

Instead, CVS can offer a selection of healthy foods, including dairy and frozen offerings in a fast shopping trip.

Meanwhile, beauty products are CVS Pharmacy’s second major category after prescriptions, Flickinger said. “They are trying to get bigger stores to have more beauty, more consumable food and beverage,” he said. “They are trying to get more corner locations.”

At the same time, they are trying to “do a checkmate strategy” to growth at Walgreens and hope to mount a strong challenge to Albertsons, the owner of Acme Supermarkets.

Walgreens recently acquired more than 1,900 Rite Aid stores. Albertsons hopes to acquire Rite Aid’s remaining stores.

The new Eatontown and Freehold Township stores will have food and beauty products, the CVS spokewoman said. “Merchandise plans have not been finalized for either store but we expect each will have plenty of healthy food choices and our latest beauty product selection,” the statement said.