Walgreens to Open its first store in Alaska.

Deerfield-based Walgreens to open its first store in Alaska, representing its presence in all 50 states, on Sunday at the ribbon cutting for its new store in Wasilla, Alaska.

The store is located in Wasilla, and Walgreen plans to open two stores in the capital city of Juneau in August. The Deerfield, Ill., company has 6,902 stores around the country, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Rival CVS Caremark had 6,912 retail stores at the end of the first quarter.

“More than 100 years ago our founder, Charles Walgreen Sr., would remind his customers, ‘You’re always welcome at Walgreens,'” Mark Wagner, Walgreens executive vice president of operations and community management, said in a statement. “We’re now extending that welcome across the entire country.”

Wagner will join other Walgreens executives to welcome the Alaska community to the only 24-hour pharmacy in the state. The Wasilla store, along with two Anchorage locations that will open in August, includes products from local vendors, including coffee and moose nuggets to ulus and fishing supplies. All three Walgreens Alaska stores opening this summer will offer drive-thru pharmacies, as well as heated sidewalks, heated parking spaces for people with disabilities and heated aprons around the front doors.

“With an aging population and baby boomers in their 60s, Alaska’s demand for pharmacy services is growing every year,” said Bruce Philipp, Walgreens district manager for Alaska. “We’ll help meet that need with services that aren’t currently offered in the state, such as 24-hour prescription service and drive-thru pharmacies that are especially helpful to the elderly, parents of small children and people who have their pet in the car with them. We even can provide medications for your pets to make caring for them easier, too.”

Many local Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage residents, including Wasilla Mayor Verne Rupright and local legislators, will join the community in the grand opening celebration. Walgreens will present contributions totaling $5,000 to area charitable organizations.

“Walgreens mission is to provide quality pharmacy and health and wellness services that are accessible and affordable,” said Wagner. “Our pharmacists help improve the lives of local residents living with diabetes, cancer, heart disease and many other health issues.”

Each Alaska store will employ about 30 to 40 people, including store managers, pharmacists and pharmacy staff, photo specialists, beauty advisers and service clerks.

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