Wells Fargo, Walgreens Offer Makeshift Services Where Locations Remain Closed
Civil unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd left hundreds of small business owners facing extensive damage or destruction of their businesses. But some of the largest companies in the U.S. were also in the line of fire.
Fortune 500 companies Wells Fargo and Walgreens are both continuing to deal with the fallout of severely damaged locations in south Minneapolis. While those companies have deep pockets and vast resources to tap, both have had to set up makeshift services for customers on sites that remain wrecked and ravaged.
A Wells Fargo branch at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue suffered significant damage when rioters broke into the building and set it on fire. The bank location is in the shadow of the 5th Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police, which drew a large number of protestors.
“Our Nicollet and Lake and Hi-Lake branches were heavily damaged and will be closed for an extended period of time. We’re committed to both neighborhoods, and we are currently assessing damage so we can determine when and how we can reopen both branches,” said Steve Carlson, a regional spokesman for Wells Fargo.
Carlson added, “In the interim, we are providing temporary solutions, such as a mobile ATM at Nicollet and Lake. Both Nicollet and Lake and Hi-Lake are very busy branches, and we want to be able to serve customers who bank at those locations.”
At the Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street location, the bank itself is fenced off. The drive-through ATM on the western side of the site is gone. The temporary ATM is set up in the back of what looks like an armored car with a satellite dish.
Pharmacy giant Walgreens still has six Minneapolis locations closed. But 107 of its 113 Twin Cities pharmacies are open.
The company has set up temporary pharmacy operations at four Minneapolis stores which remain otherwise closed:
- 2650 Hennepin Avenue
- 4547 Hiawatha Avenue
- 3121 E. Lake Street
- 5428 Lyndale Avenue South
At the Hennepin Avenue location near Uptown, for example, the drive-through pharmacy is not currently open, but a trailer has been set up at the back of the parking lot.
“Stores located at 200 West Lake Street and 627 West Broadway remain closed for continued assessment and repair. I don’t have an estimated reopen date at this time,” said Erin Loverher, a spokeswoman for Walgreens.
According to a statement earlier this month, the company indicated that about 25 of its locations in the Twin Cities “sustained some level of damage” during the unrest.
The company also plans to offer some incentives to customers when closed stores ultimately reopen.
“Walgreens is also increasing inventory of essential grocery items, such as eggs, milk and bread, at stores whose local grocery stores may be temporarily closed. Walgreens will offer a 20 percent in-store discount at previously closed stores as they reopen,” said Loverher.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. ranks 30th on the current edition of the Fortune 500; Walgreens parent Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in the Chicago area, ranks 19th.