The Sexist

CVS Employees With Sex On The Brain

Last week, I wrote about how CVS Pharmacies in Washington, D.C. are continuing to limit access to condoms by locking up some stores and declining to work with public health activist groups. The main problem with condom lock-up is that it forces customers to interact with several employees, wait around in front of the condom box, and verbally request the product. In short, it's embarrassing.

Sometimes, the employees make it more so. I stopped by a CVS in Los Angeles last week to pick up some personal items—not condoms, though. I approached the cashier with a box of tampons, some Midol, and a pack of gum. I was with a boy.

The cashier rung up my merchandise, requested my CVS card, and delivered my change. Then, she said this to us:

"You kids have fun this weekend, whatever you do or don't do!"

Whatever we "do" or "don't do"? You got us good, CVS. I thought your employees could only make me uncomfortable about doing it when I bought something actually related to sex. Now I know you can make me uncomfortable about doing it (or not doing it!) when I buy anything at all!

Photo by Editor B

  • chicago office

    I never understood why they put condoms behind those glass cases, is the rate of condom theft high or something? I agree with you it's embarrassing as hell to ask a sales associate to open that case for you.

    What the cashier said to you was totally inappropriate, should have told the manager! I guess that would be a little embarrassing in itself though.

  • Coleman

    Thanks for staying with this issue. Maybe you mentioned this way back in another post, but what, exactly, is the company's rationale behind locking up rubbers? In the District, CVS is so monopolistic that this internal corporate policy is something of a public health issue.

  • Amanda Hess

    The word from CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis:

    The locks were in place to prevent shoplifters from “grabbing a whole bunch of condoms and running out of the store,” says CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis. “The stores that had to keep condoms locked experienced shoplifting to such a degree that our entire inventory was being wiped out,” he says. “There were no longer condoms available for customers to purchase.”

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