Well, that didn’t take very long!
Just a month after Walgreens received regulatory approval to gobble up half of Rite Aid’s 2,000 stores, the axe is set to fall on about 30% of those newly acquired locations.
Rite Aids located near a Walgreens voted most likely to close
Walgreens Boots Alliance — the fancy corporate moniker for Walgreens — will start closing some 600 stores next spring.
“We have been able to complete a comprehensive review of the combined store portfolio to determine the scope for optimizing locations,” Global CFO George Rollo Fairweather told analysts and investors during an earnings call.
“This has resulted in our decision to close approximately 600 stores and related assets over an 18-month period, beginning in spring 2018.”
While there’s no list available of the stores that will close, Co-COO Alexander W. Gourlay revealed the following tidbit during the same earnings call:
“The vast majority of these closures will be Rite Aid and the vast majority actually being closed are within one mile of another drugstore that we own,” he noted.
“This really is about improving access to Walgreens in the future and in Northeast and the South of the country.”
What it means for your wallet…
Even though Rite Aid still retains ownership of about 2,400 stores — down from 4,600 before the Walgreens deal — clearly the drugstore sector is about to see a lot less competition in the near future.
That makes it almost a given that you’ll be paying higher prices as a result of reduced competition.
Which, of course, is going to make comparison shopping more important than ever if you want to save money!
Watch those prices at pharmacy chains
For a sense of just how high the prices at drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens can be compared to traditional supermarkets, we turn to ConsumerWorld.org‘s comparison below.
While prices do change weekly, the average price of a basket of goods they shopped in the metro Boston area were 36% higher at the drugstore chains.
These drugstores have become such a fixture of suburban life that some busy intersections even have all three chains represented!
Most of those locations dedicate about 25% of their square footage to grocery items, creating near mini-supermarkets with soft drinks, bread, milk, eggs, canned soups and more.
But if money matters to you, you need to know that the chain drugstores are not necessarily friendly to your wallet when it comes to food items. They’re all about convenience, instead.