The Rite Aid store at 2255 Wisconsin Avenue is set to close May 18 following the purchase of thousands of Rite Aid stores by Walgreens in 2017, according to The Georgetowner.
The Rite Aid pharmacies will close ahead of the store closing May 13. Walgreens originally planned to close 600 underperforming Rite Aids but could now close up to 750, according to Forbes. No business has been announced as a replacement yet.
The Rite Aid employees were given little notice about the closure, according to the Georgetowner. However, Walgreens plans to relocate workers to other storefronts in comparable jobs, according to a Walgreens spokesperson.
“We are committed to taking care of our team members throughout this process, and expect to have positions at other locations for the majority of store employees who are impacted. We will be making every effort to find the same or similar positions for team members,” a Walgreens spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya.
The location is one of 1,932 Rite Aids nationwide that the company sold to Walgreens, according to a Walgreens spokesperson. Walgreens bought the stores and three distribution centers from Rite Aid for approximately $4.4 billion in March 2018 after an earlier merger deal fell through because of federal antitrust regulations, according to Forbes.
Walgreens will transfer customer pharmacy records to their location at 3301 New Mexico Ave and customers have been notified of the change, according to the Walgreens spokesperson.
Until the Rite Aid closes, most of its inventory is 50 percent off. Glover Park resident Thomas Shaw said he was a regular at Rite Aid because of the store’s competitive prices.
“I would come here all the time because I had a Rite Aid card and they had really good deals,” Shaw said in an interview with The Hoya. “I’m going to go to CVS now.”
The 2255 Wisconsin Ave. Rite Aid location opened in 2016 and competes with a CVS across the street, which will remain open. Despite the 2016 Rite Aid opening, Glover Park resident and Georgetown history professor Judith Tucker has remained a loyal CVS customer.
“The new one opened, I didn’t change my habits. I still come here,” Tucker said in an interview with The Hoya.
The Safeway at 1855 Wisconsin Ave. offers consumers another option to purchase food and miscellaneous items. The Wisconsin Avenue Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle bus stops at the Safeway on its route through Glover Park, making the location accessible to students.
Several Georgetown students were unaware of the Rite Aid location and instead frequented competitors. CVS and Safeway meet shopping needs according to Georgetown student, Alena O’Connor (COL ’22).
“I didn’t even know there was a Rite Aid so I’ve never been to that. I’ve gone to CVS and Safeway about an equal number of times but CVS is always for smaller stuff whereas Safeway is more like actual grocery shopping,” O’Connor wrote in a statement to The Hoya.
The Wisconsin and O Street CVS location is the closest pharmacy to Georgetown’s campus.
Six Rite Aid locations in Washington, D.C., remain open and are operated by Walgreens, according to the Walgreens’ website.
The Rite Aid shutdown comes after a series of recent closures in Glover Park. A Starbucks across the street also closed in March 2018 and the neighborhood’s Whole Foods closed in March 2017 after a rat infestation.
The Whole Foods had helped bring new residents and young families to the neighborhood, but its closure has hurt local businesses and decreased foot traffic, according to BisNow, a digital media company. In response, local residents have petitioned to bring it back.
ReEnvision Glover Park, a neighborhood task force that has dedicated itself to revitalizing the Glover Park section of Wisconsin Avenue, said the closures have hurt small businesses in the area.
“The recent vacancies of our anchor tenants (Rite Aid, Starbucks and more importantly Whole Foods) along the Glover Park portion of Wisconsin Avenue have been challenging not only for the community but also for the local mom and pop shops that have depended on the foot traffic that these national stores bring to the retail corridor,” the group wrote in a statement to The Hoya.