Philadelphia-based drugstore chain Rite Aid has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and underperforming stores in New Jersey and beyond may close.

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CNBC reports the chain will immediately begin restructuring itself to significantly reduce its debt while lenders agreed to extend nearly $3.5 billion in new funding to "provide sufficient liquidity" during this phase.

Crowded landscape

Rite Aid has been dealing with slow sales, mounting debt, increasing competition, and numerous lawsuits involving the nation's opioid epidemic.

CRUSHING DEBT: The Guardian reports Rite Aid is $8.6 billion in debt

Simply put, shoppers have no shortage of places to buy everyday items, like shampoo, cough drops, and toothpaste -- Target, Walmart, Amazon, and even CVS often offer lower prices and a more convenient shopping experience. Not to mention, filling prescriptions is not much of a hassle these days.

CVS on Tilton Road in Egg Harbor Township NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
CVS on Tilton Road in Egg Harbor Township NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman

Meanwhile, direct competitors have also been able to successfully expand their investments in healthcare offerings, such as Minute Clinics inside CVS stores and Walgreens' plans to open doctors' offices inside their stores in the near future.

Unconfirmed reports of closures

While Rite Aid has recently closed a handful of stores in the Garden State, more may be on the way.

We know of an unconfirmed report that at least one store in South Jersey will be closing within a matter of weeks.

Long history

The Rite Aid chain was founded in Scranton, PA, in September 1962; the first store was called Thrift D Discount Center.

Several mergers allowed the chain to rapidly expand across the country, including its most notable acquisition of Eckerd Pharmacy in 2006 for over $3 billion.

In 2017, following a failed purchase of the entire company by Walgreens, that chain bought 1900 Rite Aid stores for $4.3 billion.

Supermarket corporation Albertson's, which locally owns Acme stores, attempted to buy Rite Aid in 2018 but that also failed.


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