Longs stores leaving Colo., Westside by fall

       The two Longs stores on the Westside will close “before next fall,” company spokesperson Phyllis Proffer said this week from her office in California.
       Exact dates have not yet been set. For now, “it will be business as usual,” she said. “And our pharmacy customers need not worry. They will know well in advance what's going to happen to their Longs Drugs.”
       The closures are part of a decision by the national chain to end its presence in Colorado. “We entered Colorado in 1985, and we've only grown to nine stores in 20 years,” Proffer said. “That's just not enough stores. We needed to add a lot more stores or look at closing those and concentrating on another area.” She mentioned California as one of those areas.
       The Longs in the Red Rock Center on Colorado Avenue opened in 1989, while the store in the West Wind center on Centennial Boulevard opened in 1997. Specific employee numbers were not available, but the Longs stores in Colorado average 27 people, Proffer said.
       Longs is “aggressively marketing” its Colorado stores, in hopes that the space they now occupy will not be left vacant when Longs eventually departs, but will be taken over by other businesses. Those welcome to make offers include Walgreens (the most prominent drug store in the region); however, Proffer declined to speculate on whether such might happen here.
       Tiffany Bruce, manager of media relations at the Walgreens headquarters in Illinois, said she could not comment in detail. “It's certainly possible, but we're just not ready to announce anything at this time,” she said. Through a Colorado construction company it works with, Walgreens had unsuccessfully tried last year to buy out the properties in the 3000 block of Colorado Avenue - just two blocks away from the current Longs - to put in a store.
       Proffer left open the possibility that Longs might someday return to Colorado, but she had no idea when. Overall, she said, “Colorado has been good to us. We hate to close those stores. It will be hard on employees and customers.”

Westside Pioneer article