Fred's to Purchase 865 Walgreens, Rite Aid Stores
In attempt to finalize its merger with Rite Aid, Walgreens said this week that it plans to sell hundreds of Rite Aid locations to Fred's, a Tennessee-based pharmacy chain, for $950 million. If the purchase is approved, Fred's physical footprint could increase drastically. The acquisition of the 865 Rite Aid stores automatically doubles Fred's storefront locations. USA Today reports employees at Rite Aid stores purchased by Fred's are expected to keep their jobs. According to the proposed deal, locations would maintain Rite Aid's name, at least for the time being.
Total Retail's Take: This has been in the works since Walgreens announced its plans to buy Rite Aid in October 2015 for $9.5 billion. However, FTC concerns about the the world's largest pharmacy chain acquiring all of Rite Aid's stores in the U.S. have slowed the process. Enter Fred's. It seems like a win-win for both companies. I'm curious to see what will happen with Fred's after such a large store acquisition.