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It is hard to imagine a more troubling and unfair article regarding the presence of CVS/Pharmacy in Washington, D.C., than the one in last week’s Washington City Paper (“Crummy Variety Store,” 3/1).

CVS entered the Washington market in 1991 and now offers stores and services that are a significant improvement over those of the old People’s drugstore chain. We have 50 locations in the District and appreciate the opportunity to serve customers in all parts of the city.

Are we perfect? No. But at a time when supermarkets and other national retailers seem to hold a lot of the District at arm’s length, we continue to work to maintain and improve the shopping experience in our stores.

You will not find us shying away from doing business in the District. It’s a great place, filled with hard-working, educated, motivated people who want their drugstore to be clean and well-organized, with no clutter in the aisles, with courteous and professional staff who help you find what you are looking for, and with quick checkout. We are committed to do our best to create this experience in every CVS every day, and we are committed to making this happen in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps what was most objectionable in the article was the disregard your reporter displayed in characterizing the jobs we help create for District residents. Our Regional Learning Center, located in Ward 8, trained and placed 1,225 D.C. residents in jobs last year. These are jobs with benefits and a decent starting wage. More important, these jobs involve a career path with a chance for regular pay raises, additional training, and advancement.

More than 300 of these jobs were filled by people on welfare, and our retention rate for this program is over 70 percent—a stunning statistic when compared with average retail employee-turnover rates. The people who take part in this program are making an effort to change their lives and create something positive through hard work. Your article does a disservice to these D.C. residents and their accomplishments.

Director of Corporate Communications

CVS Corp.