Rite Aid, other drugstores to close hundreds of locations

Marc Lutz//September 28, 2023//

Rite Aid to close hundreds of locations

Rite Aid announced it will close between 400 and 500 stores. Photo: Rite Aid

Rite Aid, other drugstores to close hundreds of locations

Marc Lutz//September 28, 2023//

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A step inside the Rite Aid drugstore on Fairview Avenue in Meridian will have patrons wondering if the store is closing.

Though signs throughout the store assure customers that the store is simply going through a reset, it comes amid the news that the company plans to close between 400 and 500 stores by next year.

Rite Aid operates 2,300 stores throughout 17 states, employing roughly 6,300 pharmacists. There are eight stores throughout Boise, Meridian and Caldwell.

The decision to shutter the hundreds of locations is due to federal lawsuits the company is facing, alleging it oversupplied opioid prescriptions. On top of that, Rite Aid is $3.3 billion in debt and lost $306.7 billion in the first fiscal quarter. It anticipates net losses of up to $680 million next year, as reported by Forbes magazine.

Last year, Rite Aid announced it would only be closing 145 stores as part of cost-cutting measures.

But the company isn’t the only drugstore to announce closures. Both CVS and Walgreens said they would be closing locations by next year.

CVS has two stores in the valley, one in Boise and one in Nampa. It operates 9,500 stores across the U.S. and plans to close 900 locations in total.

“CVS Health will reduce store density in certain locations and close approximately 300 stores a year for the next three years,” it said in a 2021 statement.

Walgreens, which operates 22 stores throughout the Treasure Valley, is the second largest drugstore chain in the U.S. behind CVS. They run 9,000 stores, and plan to close 150 of those in the U.S. and 300 in the United Kingdom. The company claims the closures are due to slower consumer spending and decline in the demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

Profits declined 59% for Walgreens in the third quarter.

As plans are ongoing, the chains have not announced which locations they will be closing or if any of those are within Idaho.