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Walgreens to shutter 600 stores as part of Rite Aid deal

Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 from rival Rite Aid.

Company spokesman Michael Polzin said Oct. 25 that most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network.

He declined to say which stores would close. The store closings will start next spring and be completed over 18 months.

Rite Aid has nine stores in the Treasure Valley, with only one an obvious candidate for closure. A Walgreens and a Rite Aid are close together at the Overland and Orchard intersection. Rite Aid has 14 stores in Idaho in Boise, Garden City, Meridian, Caldwell, McCall, Lewiston, Moscow, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene.

A company spokeswoman said the Walgreens hasn’t released specific markets it is buying stores from Rite Aid except to say the acquired stores are primarily in the Northeast and South. Walgreens also is buying three Rite Aid distribution centers – in Dayville, Conn., Philadelphia and Spartanburg, S.C.

Walgreens said Oct. 25 that it has already acquired its first Rite Aid stores, and it expects to complete all the store transfers by next spring.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in Deerfield, Ill., announced its acquisition plan last month, nearly two years after the nation’s biggest drugstore chain launched an attempt to buy all of Rite Aid Corp., based in Camp Hill, Pa. Regulators balked at that bigger deal.

Walgreens operates more than 13,200 stores worldwide.

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