Pharmacy chain Rite Aid is set to shut down at least 29 of its stores in New York state following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, sources say.
Documents from a court filing show that Rite Aid aims to close 154 struggling stores throughout the U.S. under its bankruptcy strategy. In a previous report, The Wall Street Journal hinted at the potential closure of up to 500 Rite Aid outlets nationally.
The majority of the New York closures are centered in New York City and Long Island, with some in upstate locations such as Cheektowaga, Kenmore, and Rochester.
A&G Real Estate Partners announced their intention to sell 78 Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs pharmacy leases and 21 property holdings, pending U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval. Included in this list are several of the announced Rite Aid closures, such as the Kenmore store. However, A&G added other properties, like the outlets in Fairport and Oneonta, to their selling list.
Specific closure dates remain under wraps for numerous locations, but A&G confirmed the Kenmore store will close on Nov. 1, the Fairport outlet on Nov. 14, and the Oneonta branch on Dec. 10. Another store in downtown Buffalo already closed its doors last week.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Rite Aid spokesperson assured that prescriptions of affected customers would be transferred to alternative pharmacies to ensure uninterrupted services.
Once boasting over 4,600 stores a decade ago, Rite Aid now operates around 2,100 drugstores, with Walgreens acquiring nearly half of Rite Aid’s branches in 2017 for $4.38 billion.
Rite Aid’s bankruptcy move includes a restructured plan backed by $3.45 billion in new funding, responding to declining sales and lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. Last year, the company agreed to a settlement of up to $30 million over claims that its pharmacies contributed to an opioid oversupply. The restructuring, Rite Aid notes, will significantly cut down the company’s debt and provide a fair resolution to ongoing litigations.
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