Anniston’s Rite Aid will be one of the hundreds of pharmacies to close as part of a deal with Walgreens.
An automated phone system for the Anniston Rite Aid says the pharmacy will close and its customers’ records will be moved to a nearby Walgreens. But local Rite Aid staff reached by phone Wednesday said managers authorized to speak with the media were not available.
Although a sign outside the store at 15th and Quintard notes that the pharmacy will close Monday, July 23, when the business itself will close and what will happen to its employees remains unclear. A spokeswoman for Rite Aid directed questions to Walgreens public relations, and The Star’s efforts to reach those officials were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Walgreens announced last October that the company would close 600 stores, mostly Rite Aids, as part of its plan to buy almost 2,000 of the chain’s pharmacies. Many of the Rite Aid locations closed were within a mile of a Walgreens, as is the case in Anniston.
Rite Aid announced in March that it had completed the transfer of 1,932 stores and related assets in exchange for cash proceeds of $4 billion. A transfer of three distribution centers and related inventory is expected to begin after Sept. 1, according to a Rite Aid press release.
Walgreens announced last September that regulators had approved the transfer. For years, the company had sought to buy Rite Aid outright.
The deal will leave Rite Aid with about 2,500 stores.