Free popcorn, cotton candy, face painting and gift bags were all part of the Walgreens Grand Opening ceremony at 1633 Springfield Avenue Saturday morning. Coming out to help commemorate the chain’s arrival were Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, Vice-Mayor Kathy Leventhal, Deputy Mayor Fred Profeta, Township Committee members Jerry Ryan and Marlon K. Brownlee, and other local officials and business people.
“This is a big deal,” said DeLuca. “This is a multi-million dollar investment and it’s big for the town. We said to Walgreens that the store had to be a street-scaped building. Initially, they wanted the store to face away from Springfield Avenue but that’s not what we wanted to do. I think it’s great for local people to have access to another pharmacy and all the other great things Walgreens has to offer.”
As customers made their way in and out of the store — which officially opened November 18 — they were handed red gift bags that contained samples of cologne and perfume bearing the names of celebrities like Antonio Banderas and singer Shakira, shampoo and conditioner from Aveeno and Frederic Fekkai, and more.
Store manager Louis Mercado brings nearly twenty years experience with the Walgreens franchise to the store. “Customers can expect fast and friendly service,” he said. “I stress to my staff that we will run our store with pride. Customers can expect a friendly place to come and get what they need.”
The Springfield Avenue now under construction and a will join the new Walgreens store. The mixed-use building, which will have apartments on the top floor, will be erected at the corner of Burnett and Springfield Avenue.
Walgreen hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m, Monday through Sunday. For pharmacy hours and additional information, call (973) 761-7391.