Here's the scoop! After management twice lowered its outlook for 2009, Rite Aid Drug Stores will be going out of business soon. According to a high-level employee at my local Rite Aid store on Park Avenue in Rochester, New York; it was confirmed this afternoon, shortly after 2:30 PM, March 25th; the decision was announced to employees by representatives from corporate headquarters, that the final day of operation will be April 25th.
The $34 billion company has over 5,000 stores in 31 states, with over 100,000 employees. Rite Aid is the third largest pharmacy chain in the United States. Company officials announced the one year stock price for Rite Aid has declined by 92%.
Rite Aid has been in trouble since 1999, due, in part, to questionable business practices, like selling date-sensitive products well past expiration; a problem which still continues in some locations. The pharmaceutical retailer was also rocked by an accounting scandal that led to jail time for several top-level executives, including Chief Executive Officer, Martin Grass. In 2007, Rite Aid acquired competitors, Eckerd and Brooks, also absorbing the huge debt loads both of those chains carried. Rite Aid officials also blame online and mail order pharmacies, where consumers have been saving so much money, as another reason for their losses. Wal-Mart instituted a $4 prescription drug plan, which other retailers, including CVS, have copied.
Those who do business with Rite Aid need to make arrangements to have their prescriptions transferred to another drug store. Make sure you keep your eyes open for store clearance sales to begin in the near future on some of what remaining merchandise is left. Locally, shelves are already being emptied of stock. The doors to Rite Aid will close permanently one month from today. The final day of operation will be on April 25th.