In late October, news began spreading first on Facebook, then Yik Yak and Twitter, that the CVS Pharmacy location in Wellesley Square — also known as the Ville — would be closing in the coming months.
The store, located on 65 Central St., is the only convenience store and pharmacy located within a 10 minute walk from the edge of campus.
Representatives from CVS declined to be interviewed for this article, but a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the CVS will be closing on Nov. 27 or possibly 29. The Wellesley Square location currently only has two non-pharmacy employees, whom the company will move to a different location. The employees were not told why the store is closing.
The source also shared that the building the CVS occupies on Central Street changed ownership a year and a half ago, so CVS has been paying rent to a new owner.
Many Wellesley students frequent this CVS location for medical necessities, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. After the Central Street CVS closes, the nearest convenience store will be the one located on Linden Street.
“I don’t like it. I think it’s bad,” Chloe Ratte ’23 said. “Especially when I lived in McAfee [Hall], which is by the Ville, I relied on CVS for any sort of food and snacks, as well as conditioner and shampoo. Now that I have prescriptions, getting meds is a little stressful since winter is going to come … and the idea of walking [to the Linden Street CVS] is uncomfortable and worrying in the cold and winter.”
Ratte added that buying necessities from the Emporium on campus is also not ideal because they tend to be more expensive there.
Natalia Quintana ’25, the outreach chair for Students for an Accessible Wellesley (SAW), says the closure is a particular loss for students with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
“Whenever I go to the Ville, it’s because of CVS,” Quintana said. “I make it, like, a couple of hours because I’m not going in any other time. And with the CVS being moved — previously, I could at least walk there. I’d need to take breaks, but I could get there. But now, I’ll need to get an Uber — I need to get someone to drive me — because I can’t make it. And I think that’s putting the financial burden on to disabled students to figure this out.”
According to Google Maps, the Central Street CVS is a three minute walk from the edge of campus from the Weston Road intersection. Additionally, it is a 16 minute walk from Lake House, the dorm farthest away from the Ville. In contrast, the Linden Street CVS is a 14-minute walk from Central and Weston, or a 28-minute walk from Lake House.
These calculations represent the length of time taken by an able-bodied person walking at a brisk pace.
With the closure of this CVS location, Wellesley students have a few options for how to obtain prescriptions. According to an email to The News from Health Services Director Dr. Jennifer Schwartz, students may have prescriptions delivered to Health Services from Andrews Pharmacy, a pharmacy in the town of Wellesley. Andrews Pharmacy can also deliver over-the-counter drugs and other medical necessities.
They may also walk to the CVS in Linden Square or have prescriptions delivered via mail order if they have a student health insurance plan.
“We are open to any other suggestions and are looking into other ways we can help support students during this transition,” Schwartz wrote.
Though Health Services offers delivery, Quintana believes that the closure of the Central Street CVS will still have an impact on students.
“There’s something to be said about going shopping in person for me,” Quintana said. “When I see things online, it doesn’t correlate in my mind to real physical objects. So being like, ‘Okay, this is the store, this is what they have,’ is a lot more helpful for me to realize what I need.”