Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Brian Lutz
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by Brian Lutz »

Another side effect of this merger: Bartell stores now appear to be selling Thrifty Ice Cream. The one in Lake Stevens had only 3-4 flavors in pint and 1.75 quart sizes, but it was the first time I've seen it around here. Looking online, it does appear that Rite Aid stores in WA, OR and ID have apparentlybeen selling Thrifty Ice Cream since 2019, but I don't think I've ever seen it advertised, and haven't been in a Rite Aid store recently to see if they have it.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: May 22nd, 2021, 2:21 pm
BillyGr wrote: May 22nd, 2021, 2:15 pm For that matter, don't prescription bottles have all the information needed (Doctor name, quantity, number of refills left, how long they are valid for)? They could just take your existing bottle and re-enter that into the system if it was otherwise misplaced, and would be easier than trying to get new ones for everyone.
There may be some sort of regulation that they need to have a record of the original prescription or a record of the call in and someone could fairly easily forge a prescription label...

Still, this is inexcusable. I have no idea how this happened but this is a big miss. Rite Aid needs to figure out how to fix this.

Rite Aid's operation keeps getting worse and worse, so I am not holding out much hope.
Sure is interesting that drugstores in the West are so much larger than back east - but supermarkets are the opposite with tons of 100K Sq ft stores from Texas to the East Coast (like HEB, Wegmans etc.). Wonder why this happened?
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by Romr123 »

Had always understood it was a legacy of blue laws; and the density of retail in the east (including bodegas) meant that larger spaces weren't practical. Think the Mississippi was really the border for big drug stores---Katz out of Kansas City opened several in St. Louis which were 25-30k sqft.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

Romr123 wrote: September 1st, 2021, 5:52 am Had always understood it was a legacy of blue laws; and the density of retail in the east (including bodegas) meant that larger spaces weren't practical. Think the Mississippi was really the border for big drug stores---Katz out of Kansas City opened several in St. Louis which were 25-30k sqft.
Out west, drug stores were a variety store. PayLess Drugs sold shoes (coincidence?), Longs Drugs may have sold some clothing items, Sav-on/Osco had a larger food selection than PayLess or Longs (due to connections with grocery chains).
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by buckguy »

Drug stores often were exempt from blue laws and the drug chain stores, in particular, kept longer hours than was typical for other kinds of stores---that's how drug stores came to carry a little of everything. It used to be possible to buy radios and portable tvs at drug stores East of the Mississippi, and most of them had service cosmetic departments, large newstands, lots of seasonal merchandise (more than now) and non-perishable grocery store items like laundry detergent and some canned goods.

That began to change in the 60s/70s. Revco, the Cleveland-based chain pioneered a more stripped down model, although they later added back household items and other things, but never had tvs or other slow moving merchandise. Some chains had rather large stores in that period---suburban Walgreen and Osco stores with Liquor departments were huge. My impression is that western stores often had liquor departments and kept going into new areas like garden supplies, while Eastern stores got smaller, esp. after they got rid of soda fountains, which often had taken up a lot of space.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by BillyGr »

Also perhaps it depends on the area. I remember finding one Eckerd (which very well may have been from something else originally) in upper NY that had a store with quite a bit more than most Eckerd locations - probably to offset some other types of stores that weren't as readily available in that area.

Also (not a drugstore) but a True Value (this one was Ogdensburg) that had a whole bunch of non hardware (from gifts and greeting cards to souvenir type stuff) - that was part of a small chain that eventually tried to expand/merge with stores run by a former Ames boss to fill those areas that were left without stores when Ames went out. Unfortunately, he did no better there than he had at Ames or Jamesway before, so they no longer exist either.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

BillyGr wrote: September 2nd, 2021, 12:14 pm Also perhaps it depends on the area. I remember finding one Eckerd (which very well may have been from something else originally) in upper NY that had a store with quite a bit more than most Eckerd locations - probably to offset some other types of stores that weren't as readily available in that area.
That may have been a Fay's Drug and Department Store. There was one in Amsterdam that set up shop in most of a former Family Bargain Center in the mid-70's and it had a little bit of everything. When the store rebranded to Eckerd, it was downsized dramatically to pretty much a standard drug store format until eventually a new store was built on the opposite corner. It eventually became Rite-Aid and closed shortly after the Walgreen's deal and now sits empty. And talking about drug stores being more along the lines of variety stores, in this area that was the exact description of what Fay's was back in the day even before their experimentation with department stores. They were beloved with the same sort of reverence some of you have for other regional chains. With the unit you describe, maybe Eckerd decided to keep it larger as sort of a test store with the possibility of opening more if it went over well.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by BillyGr »

TW-Upstate NY wrote: September 3rd, 2021, 10:21 am
BillyGr wrote: September 2nd, 2021, 12:14 pm Also perhaps it depends on the area. I remember finding one Eckerd (which very well may have been from something else originally) in upper NY that had a store with quite a bit more than most Eckerd locations - probably to offset some other types of stores that weren't as readily available in that area.
That may have been a Fay's Drug and Department Store. There was one in Amsterdam that set up shop in most of a former Family Bargain Center in the mid-70's and it had a little bit of everything. When the store rebranded to Eckerd, it was downsized dramatically to pretty much a standard drug store format until eventually a new store was built on the opposite corner. It eventually became Rite-Aid and closed shortly after the Walgreen's deal and now sits empty. And talking about drug stores being more along the lines of variety stores, in this area that was the exact description of what Fay's was back in the day even before their experimentation with department stores. They were beloved with the same sort of reverence some of you have for other regional chains. With the unit you describe, maybe Eckerd decided to keep it larger as sort of a test store with the possibility of opening more if it went over well.
Could be - this one is in the Stateway Plaza in Watertown. When I was there (which is quite a number of years back), there was a P&C supermarket and the Eckerd, which was somewhat larger than most. Looking at it from a map, there was still a sign for a Rite Aid Liquor store, though I found a post (about some part of the plaza being evacuated for a bomb threat) that says that is closed now as well. That post also suggested that the liquor store dated back to the Eckerd and Fays days, so that confirms the origin as Fays (if not something even before that, like what you mention with Amsterdam).

The time I was there, the plaza lost power (which we didn't realize, as it was something in the plaza itself). The P&C was pretty good - they had you carry a paper and pencil and write prices down as you shopped, then they added them up at the register with a calculator and took your money.

The plaza is also home to a local TV station - we had noted that that particular station was off the air, but didn't know why until going and finding out the power outage issue!

I think I remember the Amsterdam spot as well (but not in the full size version) - a small(ish) plaza on the left side of 30 not too far past the Super Kmart heading out of the city? I want to say that part of the plaza had become some type of flea market when I was last there (also not too recently, but after Walgreens opened up there), or maybe that was earlier as well.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by Super S »

Something worth noting: I often listen to Seattle's KOMO radio, and they have been airing quite a few ads for Bartell Drug which sound like their typical ads with no mention of Rite Aid, which I don't think is much of a radio advertiser.
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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Post by Alpha8472 »

Rite Aid realizes that customers are loyal to trusted local brand names. When Thrifty signs went up on remodeled Rite Aid stores in Northern California, the signs were so prominent that it looked like the store was a Thrifty Pharmacy with a Rite Aid logo in the middle.

Customers were commenting on how they stopped in just to see if Thrifty had returned. It really generated more business after the remodel. Rite Aid should bring back more regional brands and see if their sales improve.
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