Rite Aid reportedly considering closing hundreds of stores

Photo (c) River North Photography - Getty Images

The pharmacy chain has been struggling for years

Your neighborhood Rite Aid drug store could be closing. The Wall Street Journal reports the struggling pharmacy chain may close 500 of its 2,200 stores in 17 states.

The company is reportedly in debt to the tune of $3.3 billion and the Journal reports the company is considering a bankruptcy filing. 

In a statement this week to Retail Dive, Rite Aid said it’s “continuing to work collaboratively and constructively with our financial stakeholders to identify the best path forward to reduce our debt and position the business for continued success.”

A spokesman for Rite Aid said conversations remain ongoing and no firm decisions have been made.

“We are focused on reaching an agreement with our financial stakeholders that will make Rite Aid stronger,” a company spokesperson said. “We are confident we are taking the right steps to help us succeed, both now and in the future.”

Bad publicity

Rite Aid has been in the news lately, and not in a good way. A class-action lawsuit filed in July alleges that Rite Aid disclosed the personal and health information of its website to major website and social media companies without those visitors’ express consent.

The lawsuit claims that when consumers visit RiteAid.com to make a request for a prescription to be filled, tracking tools – invisible to the user, but embedded into the website – “secretly” sent all kinds of personal information to Meta, Google, TikTok and other companies.

That information purportedly included the person’s name, phone number, email address, birthdate, their Rite Aid client ID numbers, the services selected, assessment responses, patient statuses, medical conditions, treatments, provider information, and appointment information. 

According to Retail Dive, Rite Aid also faces lawsuits that accuse the pharmacy of contributing to the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic – litigation that could carry financial liability.

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