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Historic Ocean Springs drug store closing

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Lovelace Drugs — an institution in Ocean Springs for generations — is facing a big change.

Current owner Fred's is selling the pharmacy business to CVS and will close its doors Thursday.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis told the Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1rI0kTK) that CVS is working on a seamless transfer of Lovelace prescriptions to its store on U.S. Highway 90. He said CVS is interviewing Lovelace employees for possible job openings.

The building's owners are looking for ways to open Lovelace back up.

The building is historic and Mayor Connie Moran said the city persuaded Fred's to leave the Lovelace signs up.

Six employees have worked at the drugstore since the late 1940s. It has had several owners, but always the same name.

The merchandise inside was Fred's and the receipts said "Fred's," but the store name was Lovelace.

Fred's has a little more than two years remaining on a five-year lease with the building owners, pharmacists Dempsey and Clark Levi.

Fred's owns the Lovelace name, and spokesman Dave Mueller told the Sun Herald, "We understand the importance of the nostalgic look and the business traffic in downtown Ocean Springs. We're working with the landlord on other options."

Moran said it's important to keep Lovelace alive as a downtown icon.

Dempsey Levi said, "We don't know at this point what Fred's and CVS have agreed on, but Fred's still holds a lease.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure there's a drugstore operating in that location under the name Lovelace -- everything within reason," he said.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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