An Essential Retailer Is Now Making More Painful Closures

An essential retailer is now making more painful closures nationwide after the giant filed for an unexpected bankruptcy in October.

Rite Aid filed a notice in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey on April 16 seeking to close 13 additional stores located in the East and Midwest, reports TheStreet.

The notice identified six stores in Pennsylvania, three in Ohio, two in New Jersey and one each in New York and Virginia.

The additional store closures bring the amount of shuttered locations to 322 of the original 2,100 stores that were open when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 15, 2023.

Rite Aid, which listed $3.3 billion in debt in its petition, filed bankruptcy facing tight co from rivals including CVS, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Walmart, Costco, Amazon, and investor Mark Cuban’s CostPlus Drug.

The company was also a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed against it by the Department of Justice in March 2023.

They alleged that the chain’s pharmacists inappropriately filled opioid prescriptions, contributing to the opioid epidemic.

The bankruptcy filing provided an automatic stay of any further legal action against the debtor in the lawsuit.

Rite Aid seeks to negotiate a less expensive settlement, which could have amounted to more than $1 billion without the bankruptcy filing.

The drugstore chain has filed several notices for additional store closures since its Oct. 17 motion to reject store leases and close 154 stores.

In November and December, it filed notices to reject 55 more stores and in late December and early January, it sought another 45 closures.

The Philadelphia-based drugstore chain filed notices on April 2 to close 30 stores, April 3 to close six locations and April 9 to close 17 stores.

In California, 18 of the stores are set to be closed.

The closure list also included 13 in New York, 12 in Pennsylvania, three in New Jersey, two in Michigan, two in Ohio, and one each in Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia.

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Market News Today - An Essential Retailer Is Now Making More Painful Closures.
Market News Today – An Essential Retailer Is Now Making More Painful Closures.

These massive retailers are now leaving low income areas, leaving residents to struggle after closures begin to create a food desert.

Residents in New Mexico have been left struggling to find reliable food options after abrupt store closures created a food desert, reports The US Sun.

Local officials slammed Walmart and Walgreens for leading residents to turn to food pantries after exiting a low-income area in Albuquerque.

Over one year ago, a Walmart in the eastern part of Albuquerque shut down, and since then a nearby Walgreens and Family Dollar have also closed.

Other supermarket chains are in no rush to fill the vacant storefronts, leaving residents to find alternative options for fresh food.

Food pantries in the area are especially feeling the strain, and volunteers say they don’t know how much longer they can patch the holes in the community.

“It’s just amazing to see how they run to these tables and in just a short matter of time, it’s gone,” Pastor Joanne Landry, who runs the nonprofit Compassion Services Center, told local NBC affiliate KOB in March.

“A lot of people, they need food.”

District 6 City Councilor Nichole Rogers also noticed the critical needs and said the closures left a “void” in her district in an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun.

She said poor access to produce can have a “ripple effect” on the health of the community.

“So it’s a top priority to get some fresh food here as soon as possible,” she said.

For Rogers, the most immediate solution is urging grocery brands to sell their property to the local government at a fair price.

That way, she can set up farmers’ markets and food co-ops where groceries can be subsidized and sold at a fair price.

However, she said the supermarkets have priced their properties so high that the city can’t make an offer.

“Walmart’s holding out for the highest bidder, which is, you know, sad,” Rogers said.

“I wish they would just sell to the city so that we would have more of a say in what happens.”

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Also Read: Giant Restaurant Now Makes An Unexpected Closure in South Carolina

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Market News Today - An Essential Retailer Is Now Making More Painful Closures.
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