A year after Walgreen’s bought 1,900 Rite Aid locations, Idaho-based grocery chain Albertsons has agreed to buy the remaining 2,600 locations and merge with Rite Aid to form a new, yet-to-be-named company. The new company is expected to make $83 billion.
In an effort to boost business in its supermarkets, Albertsons plans to re-brand its pharmacies to the Rite Aid look, while also operating some standalone Rite Aid stores. The merger would unite approximately 4,350 pharmacies in 38 states as well as Washington, D.C. The deal represents struggle in both grocery and pharmacy markets, and is another big change to the retail pharmacy market after CVS Health announced a proposed merger with Aetna in December.
This could make Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) more appealing, with the gain of more locations under Albertsons, and therefore more prescriptions. Rite Aid has operated EnvisionRx since 2015 and claims the PBM covers about “500,000 lives.”