Pharmacy Exodus Continues: Oregon Hit with Growing Closure List

Ash Jurberg

Additional Oregon Pharmacy Locations to Shut Down

Rite Aid continues to announce store closures in the United States. Yesterday, they released a list of 31 more stores to close, including another two in Oregon.

Since filing for bankruptcy last month, the struggling pharmacy chain has closed seven locations in Oregon, with another four set to close soon.

Let's take a quick look at this ongoing story.

Bankruptcy Blues

Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy in October after incurring $ 3.3 billion in unpaid debt. Over the past six years, Rite Aid has recorded almost $3 billion in losses and seen its stock price drop 90%.

Rite Aid operates over 2,330 stores in 17 U.S. states, but this number is rapidly declining and will soon drop below 2000. In October, as part of its bankruptcy filing, it announced that 154 locations nationwide would soon close, but this list has been added to several times. Since the initial filing, the list of stores to close reached approximately 230.

Oregon Stores and Warehouse to be Closed

The two stores added to the closure list yesterday are:

  • 785 South Columbia River Hwy, St. Helens
  • 435 Liberty St N.E, Salem

They added to a growing list of locations in Oregon set to close. Two stores will be closed in December.

  • Canby: 891 S.E. First Ave. Closing December 4
  • Portland: 1814 N.E. 41st Ave. Closing December

The seven stores below have closed since the bankruptcy filing.

  • Portland: 2440 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
  • Portland: 4346 N.E. Cully Blvd.
  • Medford: 981 Medford Center.
  • Warrenton: 145 S. Highway 101.
  • Florence: 3451 Highway 101.
  • Hines: 629 N. Highway 20.
  • Milton-Freewater: 105 S.W. Second Ave.

In addition, Rite Aid has announced it will close its warehouse in Wilsonville next April, resulting in 136 workers losing their positions. The layoffs will commence the first week of January and continue until April 5, 2024.

"After conducting a comprehensive analysis of our distribution network, we’ve made the difficult but necessary business decision to close our Oregon Distribution Center and transition operations to our Washington Distribution Center to best support our stores and ensure greater efficiencies.” Rite Aid spokesperson

Pharmacy Deserts

However, Rite Aid isn't the only pharmacy chain closing stores. CVS stated that in 2021, they would close 300 stores annually until 2024, while Walgreens will close 150 locations across the United States over the coming months. This vast reduction could lead to pharmacy deserts impacting communities.

"Pharmacy deserts have been a longstanding issue that has gotten worse with recent closures of both independent and chain pharmacies... When pharmacies close, there are some people who stop taking their medications — especially if they live in pharmacy deserts. Others may take time off work or delay picking up their prescriptions...The mass closure of pharmacies fail vulnerable communities." Dima Qato, an associate professor at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy

Your thoughts

Do these closures impact you? Are you concerned about the future of the Rite Aid business? Do you fear too many pharmacy stores are closing?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and share this article with others so more people can join the discussion.

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