After years of overexpansion, Rite Aid and other giant American pharmacy chains have struggled. They’ve been closing hundreds of stores over the past few years, despite the pandemic that has drawn people into pharmacies.
The exact locations of the closing stores weren’t revealed Tuesday, but the company said the closures will help the company “reduce costs, drive improved profitability and ensure that we have a healthy foundation to grow from.” Rite Aid has approximately 2,500 stores across 19 states, so the closures amounts to just 2% of its retail footprint.
Rite Aid’s store closure follows CVS Health’s recent announcement of the shuttering of 900 stores over the next three years. CVS explained in November the closures were sparked by “consumer buying patterns” and that they will begin next spring.Rite Aid (RAD), which is significantly smaller number than rivals CVS (CVS) or Walgreens (WBA), has been in the midst of remodeling some of its stores to focus on allocating more space for beauty and personal care items, as well as vitamins and supplements, and less for stationary and household appliances. All of the major US drug store chains have recently been readjusting their retail footprint. For example, CVS acknowledged it has too many stores that are too close to each other in some places.
Also, fewer people are heading to Rite Aid and other drug stores to fill their prescriptions and shop for household staples these days. Some shoppers have replaced their trips to stores like CVS by buying their supplies online from Amazon, or from brick-and-mortar giants like Walmart and Target. The chains have built their own strong e-commerce businesses in recent years.
–CNN Business’ Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.