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Rite Aid Closing Dozens More Stores As Bankruptcy Progresses

The Rite Aid at 2545 Aramingo Ave. in Philadelphia is among the 31 additional stores set to close as part of the drugstore's Chapter 11 proceedings.

Rite Aid is shuttering 31 more locations and auctioning off another 31 as it charts the course of its bankruptcy proceedings.

The Philadelphia-based drugstore chain is looking to close some of its stores altogether, but otherwise score new deals and auction off leases as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring, CoStar reports.

Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy in October, revealing initial plans to close 154 stores in 17 states, many of which were in Pennsylvania, New York and California. The store is facing $3.3B in debts and over a thousand lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic, in addition to competition from rival chains Walgreens and CVS.

The store closures announced in the latest bankruptcy filing come after Rite Aid announced earlier this week that it had opened a 266K SF distribution center in Des Moines, Washington, serving stores in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

The drugstore’s newly announced store closures span 12 states and bring the total closures to 185, Chain Store Age reported. Further closures could follow, as the store said it could close as many as 500 locations as part of its initial bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported prior to Rite Aid's Chapter 11 filing.

The new list of locations that Rite Aid plans to close includes 4980 Freeport Blvd. in Sacramento, California, 5825-35 Broadway in the Bronx, and 2545 Aramingo Ave. in Philadelphia.

The chain has approximately 2,300 stores, according to a release. Rite Aid is being advised by A&G Real Estate Partners for the real estate portion of its bankruptcy and has already started auctioning leases and properties it owns, CoStar reported.

Drugstores nationally are facing financial pressures, squeezed between falling sales and increased costs of keeping retail space. Large retail footprints — amid a costly, competitive retail landscape for consumer goods available at a wealth of other retailers, including big-box stores and e-commerce companies — are adding to difficulties for drugstore chains.

In the last two years, the country's three largest pharmacy chains have announced plans to close some 1,500 locations nationwide.