Walgreens to close Southwest Berkeley location Nov. 17

Southwest Berkeley’s Walgreens will close its doors for good later this month.

Signs in the store at the intersection of San Pablo and Ashby avenues state that Nov. 17 will be its last day in business. By Thursday, many shelves had been stripped bare as the last of the merchandise was sold off.

Councilmember Terry Taplin, who represents Southwest Berkeley, said he is concerned about the loss of the neighborhood pharmacy.

“A lot of the folks who have lived in this area for a long time rely on (Walgreens) for the pharmacy,” Taplin said. “It’s going to have a serious impact, especially on low-income folks.”

The next-closest pharmacy is at Kaiser Permanente’s Berkeley Medical Offices, at 2621 10th St. The nearest Walgreens location is just over a mile away, at 2801 Adeline St, and there is also a CVS pharmacy at 4349 San Pablo Ave. in Emeryville, 1.4 miles south of the closing store, along AC Transit’s line 72.

It’s not clear why the Southwest Berkeley Walgreens is closing — the company did not respond to multiple requests for comment this week.

The shuttering of several Walgreens locations in San Francisco touched off a contentious debate after officials from the Illinois-based chain blamed the closures there on shoplifting. Skeptics of that explanation pointed to a 2019 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in which Walgreens said it planned to close about 200 stores across the country. And an analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle found some of the closing stores had reported few shoplifting incidents in recent years.