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'Heartbreaking' for Lang's Owner to Close New Canaan Pharmacy

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Diana Levison was a little frazzled Tuesday. As customers of Lang’s Pharmacy wondered why the longstanding New Canaan shop was closed and the windows were covered, Levison was supervising as the shelves were cleared for a final time.

“There are customers I’ve known since I was a teenager,” Levison said at the pharmaceutical area.

After being in her family since the 1960s, Lang’s Pharmacy officially closed Monday. The news stunned many New Canaan residents who purchased prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicine and cosmetics at the store.

Levison sold Lang’s to Walgreens, which has a location on Pine Street. She will focus her energies on running the Lang’s Pharmacy in Weston, which has been open for about five years. Levison said she had considered closing the New Canaan location for three years but could not have a public closing as part of her deal with Walgreens.

Costs for rent and competition from other local pharmacies and cosmetics stores were among the reasons she shuttered the New Canaan shop. She also says Walgreens was best equipped to handle all of the Lang’s New Canaan customers, especially with better parking than was available on Elm Street.

“It was a business decision and a quality-of-life decision,” she said. “There’s two large chains and two independents, and I wanted to sell to an independent. But unfortunately, between the rent and the salary of a pharmacist ... it’s only good if someone’s going to come in as a pharmacist and work the bench. And I wasn’t able to find anyone who was able to do that.”

Her employees will either join her at Lang's in Weston or work at Walgreens, she said.

"I worked hard to make sure everyone in my staff was taken care of in a way that they would be happy with, and I feel good about that," she said.

Several customers could hardly believe the shop was shut. Even neighboring shop owners did not know Lang’s was closing.

“It was heartbreaking to not say goodbye, but it was part of the contract that we needed to keep the deal under wraps until it went through,” she said.

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