The Rite Aid on Main Street in Lewiston is one of five local stores that will be taken over by Walgreens. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
LEWISTON — Walgreens has taken over five local Rite Aid stores as part of its deal to purchase 1,932 stores for $4.3 billion by spring, according to a spokesman.
The deal represents about half of Rite Aid stores nationally.
Spokesman Phil Caruso said Wednesday that stores at 61 Union St. and 698 Minot Ave. in Auburn, as well as 315 Main St., 430 Sabattus St. and 987 Lisbon St. in Lewiston, had been bought.
Stores will be converted over time to new signs, he said.
Associates have become Walgreens employees and the pharmacy is a Walgreens pharmacy, but “the front of the store will continue normal business operations under the Rite Aid brand,” Caruso said. “However, there will also be a sign on the window of the door indicating that the store is owned by Walgreens.”
According to an Associated Press story in October 2017, the company, formally known as Walgreens Boots Alliance, also plans to close 600 stores starting in the spring and continuing over 18 months.
It isn’t yet naming locations, but those most likely to close would be in situations where Rite Aid and Walgreens are within a mile of each other.
The closest Walgreens to the Twin Cities are in Norway, Bath, Windham and Augusta.
Before the Rite Aid deal, Walgreens had more than 13,000 stores in 11 countries.