Rite Aid, the third-largest drugstore chain in the US, has announced the closure of 154 stores across the country. The decision comes as the company continues to struggle with declining sales and a recent bankruptcy declaration. The impact of this decision will be felt in various states, including Washington, where nearly a dozen Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs locations will be shutting their doors.
The closure of these stores marks a significant development for Rite Aid, as it acquired Bartell Drugs just last year. To support the remaining open stores during its restructuring process, the company has secured $3.45 billion in financing.
However, the closure of stores is not the only challenge Rite Aid faces. The company recently settled lawsuits amounting to as much as $30 million, relating to the contribution of pharmacies to the oversupply of prescription opioids. As part of a financial restructuring plan, Rite Aid is taking these steps to reduce its debt and position itself for future growth.
Pennsylvania and California are the states most heavily impacted by the store closures, with 40 and 31 locations respectively. The list of all the affected stores has been filed in bankruptcy court documents.
In Washington state, specifically, six Rite Aid stores and three Bartell Drugs locations will be closing. This news is disheartening for customers who have relied on Rite Aid for not only prescription services but also vaccinations and healthcare.
With over 51,000 employees, including pharmacists, Rite Aid has played a significant role in the healthcare industry. However, the company’s financial woes have necessitated these store closures as part of its efforts to restructure and regain financial stability.
As Rite Aid moves forward with its restructuring plan, it remains to be seen how this decision will impact the company’s future. For now, customers in affected areas will need to find alternative options for their healthcare and pharmaceutical needs.