Will More Rite Aid Stores Close? Bankruptcy Restructuring Process Begins

Rite Aid plans to close or sell more than 250 stores so far under a court-supervised restructuring process.

Rite Aid sign and logo on a building
(Image credit: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rite Aid, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, plans to continue to serve its retail, pharmacy and other customers as well as its online platforms during its court-supervised restructuring, the drug store chain says on its website.

Rite Aid has received court approval to close 154 stores and one of its landlords, A&G Real Estate Partners, announced plans on October 17 to sell another 99 stores. The company said that, as part of the bankruptcy process and in connection with the court-supervised process, it will "continue assessing its footprint and close additional underperforming stores.”

In a September 22 report, the Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the matter saying that Rite Aid is proposing to close as many as 500 of its 2,100 stores as part of the restructuring plan.

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The news comes at a time when the healthcare sector is undergoing rapid changes in the labor sector, in particular. Earlier this month, pharmacists, technicians and support staff at Walgreens stores in several states staged a walkout over "harsh" working conditions. Last week, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions jointly announced that they reached a tentative agreement for a new contract, following the coalition's three-day strike and months of negotiations.

At Rite Aid, the company said that it is "making every effort to ensure customers of impacted stores have access to health services, whether at another Rite Aid or a nearby pharmacy, and will work to transfer prescriptions accordingly so that there is no disruption of services."

Rite Aid has closed more than 2,700 stores since its store count peaked at 5,059 in 2008 following the acquisition of Brooks Eckerd. The company had 2,284 stores as of June 3, 2023, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filings

The bankruptcy filing will pause numerous federal, state and private lawsuits against the company over its alleged oversupply of opiod drugs, according to a Wall Street Journal article on October 15.

Rite Aid said it agreed to sell its Elixir pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) business to independent PBM MedImpact Healthcare Systems, which will serve as a "stalking horse bidder" in a court-supervised sale process.

Separately, Rite Aid appointed Jeffrey S. Stein as chief executive and chief restructuring officer, as well as a member of its board of directors, effective immediately. He succeeds interim CEO Elizabeth Burr.

How to transfer prescriptions

Many pharmacies offer step-by-step guidance on their websites on how to add or transfer prescriptions. These include large companies such as, for example, CVS , Kroger,  Walgreens  and Walmart , as well as smaller and independent pharmacies. 

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.