PORTLAND — With a goal of reducing costs and driving profitability, Rite Aid recently announced the closure of at least 63 stores throughout the country as it reassesses how many brick-and-mortar locations are needed in the United States.
Stores slated for closure have yet to be announced, and the company said it anticipates it will find additional shops to close within the next several months. Rite-Aid operates in 49 Oregon cities and towns, including a La Grande location.
According to a company announcement, which also shared the drugstore chain’s third quarter results, the closures, which began last month, will save the corporation about $25 million annually. Rite Aid Corp. reported a loss of $36.1 million in its fiscal third quarter. The Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company said it had a loss of 67 cents per share.
The move will “ensure that we have a healthy foundation to grow from, with the right stores in the right locations, for the communities we serve and for our business,” Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid’s president and CEO, said in the announcement.
Rite Aid operates more than 2,400 retail pharmacy locations in the United States, and the company said the closures were identified as part of an ongoing review.
“Despite challenges in the labor market, our pharmacists and store teams were able to meet the unprecedented volumes for COVID and flu immunizations, COVID testing and other clinical services,” Donigan said.
The news comes on the heels of a similar announcement in early November from Rite Aid rival, CVS, which has plans to close 900 stores over the next three years as the company adjusts to shoppers’ increased online buying habits. CVS has since shifted its focus to digital growth, turning stores into destinations that offer a range of health-care services, from flu shots to diagnostic tests.