Uncertain future for Rite Aid stores in Wilmington after Walgreens purchase

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - There are six Rite Aid stores in the greater Wilmington area, and a Walgreens spokesperson confirms at least one store will close after Walgreens finishes assuming ownership in the next few months.

"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," the spokesperson said.

In 2017, Walgreens moved to purchase about 2,000 Rite Aid stores. Rite Aid expects to finalize the transfer of all stores to Walgreens by spring 2018, but an exact date has not been shared.

The "majority" of these purchased Rite Aid stores will be converted to full Walgreens stores.

As of March 5, 2018, "Rite Aid has transferred 1,651 stores and related assets to (Walgreens), and has received cash proceeds of $3.6 billion, which the Company continues to use to reduce debt," according to a press release.

The Rite Aid located at the corner of Shipyard Boulevard and Carolina Beach Road will close, according to staff members. They say the pharmacy closed June 25, and the full store will close July 9.

A sign on the door at the location says pharmacy records will transfer to the Walgreens at 2130 South 17th Street.

The Rite Aid located at the intersection of Shipyard Boulevard and South College Road closed June 4.

The Rite Aid on Oleander Drive is listed as having a Walgreens pharmacy and will remain open.

The pharmacy located at the intersection of Dawson and South 17th Street has a sign on the door indicating it now has a Walgreens pharmacy.

One customer said he will stick with Rite Aid for his prescriptions because he has been going to the store on Dawson Street for years.

The Rite Aid at the intersection of North College Road and Bavarian Lane has a sign on the door indicating it has a Walgreens pharmacy.

The pharmacy and store located at Market Street and Gordon Road closed on June 12 with pharmacy records transferred to the Walgreens at 6801 Market Street. There is a Walgreens at the same intersection on the opposite corner.

The Walgreens-owned Rite Aid store located at 6930 Market Street closed June 26, and all patients' prescription records were transferred to the Walgreens located at 6861 Market Street.

Walgreens said it will work to make sure employees find new jobs after the closure.

"We are 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 Walgreens spokesperson said.

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