Elizabeth Avenue Rite Aid To Close After Purchase By Walgreens

The Rite Aid drug store on Elizabeth Avenue will close in about two weeks.

The township this month is losing one of two Rite Aid drug stores with the closing of the Elizabeth Avenue location.

The store, which was one of nearly 2,000 sold to rival Walgreens, will be closed on July 12, then reopen for about two weeks on July 13, a Walgreens’ spokesman said.

Files of Rite Aid pharmacy patients at that location have been transferred to the Walgreens at 476 West Union Avenue in Bound Brook, according to the spokesman.

“As you may know, Walgreens recently completed the purchase of 1,932 Rite Aid stores,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement. “As announced last October, we will be closing some store locations to help ensure we have the right stores in the right locations to create a more focused network of stores that can deliver the greatest value for our customers.”

As far as the store’s employees are concerned, the spokesman said that the company is “committed to taking care of our team members throughout this process, and expect to have positions at other locations for the majority of store employees who are impacted. We will be making every effort to find the same or similar positions for team members.”

The Rite Aid store on Hamilton Street was not included in the deal.

Rite Aid announced the sale of 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory to Walgreens Boots Alliance in March 2018, for $4.2 billion. The sale came after a failed attempt by Walgreens to acquire Rite Aid.

Rite Aid also received a $325 million termination fee after the deal was killed, following indications from the Federal Trade Commission that it would not sanction the merger.

“While we believe that pursuing the merger with WBA was the right thing to do for our investors and customers, this new agreement provides a clear path forward and positions Rite Aid as a strong, independent, multi-regional drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager with a compelling footprint in key markets,” Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley said in a press release at the time. “The transaction offers clear solutions to assist us in addressing our pharmacy margin challenges and allows us to significantly reduce debt, resulting in a strong balance sheet and improved financial flexibility moving forward.”

The stores included in the deal are primarily located “in the Northeast and Southern regions of the U.S., located in markets which, based on feedback from the FTC, would be acceptable to sell to WBA,” Rite Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower said in an email.

In February, Rite Aid and Albertsons – a Boise, Idaho-based grocery retailer – announced plans to merge. After the merger, which is up for an Aug. 9 shareholder vote, Albertsons will convert to a public company with its shares expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.


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