Over the course of their 159 years in the Hudson Valley and 48 years at 190 Main Street in New Paltz, Dedrick’s Pharmacy has endured through waves of change and CVS is not going to pull them under.
With the impending encroachment of a proposed CVS Pharmacy and Five Guys Burgers plaza project on the intersection of North Putt Corners Road and State Route 299, Dedrick’s may soon face its steepest challenge.
And yet, after months of public outcry, political opposition and petitions aplenty against the project, Dedrick’s appears to be handling the situation with relative ease. The pharmacy, a staple in the New Paltz community and a traditional small business in every regard, doesn’t have any drastic rhetoric or bombast towards the plan.
“The one concern we have is why there,” co-owner Bill Sheeley said. “The traffic issues that we have here at this location will only be intensified at the location they’re proposing to move to.”
Bill Sheeley has co-owned Dedrick’s with his brother Jack since 1974. He cited Dedrick’s prominence in community service as one of the several reasons why the store has such a loyal customer base. He added that it’s a rarity for Dedrick’s not to donate to local causes.
Whether Dedrick’s is sponsoring the Springfest concert at SUNY New Paltz or donating to support local golfing tournaments at New Paltz Country Club, they have a significant level of involvement in the community at-large.
The willingness of Dedrick’s to direct its financial influence for beneficial reasons in a community like New Paltz is why it has reaped praise from generations of locals. Sheeley spoke proudly of the fact that Dedrick’s 20 employees collectively made $1.2 million last year.
It’s that kind of engaged small business leadership that has cultivated public support with the possibility of a multinational corporation moving in half-a-mile down the street.
“We try to be different enough,” Sheeley said. “We’ve found that when chains move in they usually just hurt other chains. So we’re not trying to be better than CVS, we’re just trying to be the best experience out there.”
Sheeley compared the situation facing Dedrick’s to that of the local restaurants facing the fast-food chains in town. While there are fast-food restaurants in town, they mostly serve off-exit traffic. This still allows for local sit-down restaurants to exist in the village, which he expects would be the same situation if CVS moved in.
The larger looming challenge to Dedrick’s are mail-order prescriptions. Due to the faster competition, Sheeley has focused his attention on that issue rather than CVS.
To make up ground in their battle to retain customers, Dedrick’s has focused on offering medication therapy management in addition to every legal immunization on the market.
Noting that Rite Aid plaza has been around for years and that CVS has tried to move in across the street from Dedrick’s years ago, Sheeley referred to the construction of the CVS/Five Guys plaza as “inevitable.” However, this has not caused Sheeley any outward anxiety as he is confident in his customer base to still shop at Dedrick’s.
“I have a lot of people from all over, from Highland even, who do a lot of shopping here,” Sheeley said. “We try to offer a different experience here than at CVS. We treat this as competition to do a better job.”