Selma Rite Aid plans closure March 20

Published 10:54 pm Monday, March 9, 2009

Rite Aid on Highland will close its doors March 20.

Mike Fiederer, manager of the store, confirmed the last day of business as he stacked up stock at the end of the aisle Monday. Racks where items were sold out gaped open on shelves where other items appeared barely disturbed.

The leftovers will go to liquidation stores or workers at the Rite Aid will pack them up and send them to other stores, Fiederer said.

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Ashley Flower, manager of public relations for Rite Aid corporate, based in Philadelphia, said the Selma store will transfer prescriptions over to the Walgreens across the street.

“It will be a seamless transfer,” she said. “We’ll be working with the Walgreens for all our patients.”

A single sales person operated the only cash register opened Monday morning. Fiederer and his staff learned of their fate Friday when the district manager came to Selma to tell them the news.

“We weren’t profitable,” Fiederer said.

Flower said the corporate office would offer all 10 associates, or sales people, positions at other stores. “It will be up to them to accept them,” she said.

Fiederer, who has worked at the Selma Rite Aid for two years as manager, will transfer to a store in Montgomery, where he lives. Its as much as a pay raise, the bespectacled man said, because he won’t have to make the 104-mile round trip each day.

Fiederer said the pharmacist also will receive a transfer option to another store.

Fiederer said he is notifying vendors of the closure as they come in to stock the shelves. There are no signs on the business’s doors. Customers who come and go are not told of the closure.

“Some representatives from other stores have been here already,” Fiederer said as he looked at the aisles and goods in his store. “They’ll choose what they want.”

Last week Rite Aid Corp. announced for the five weeks ended Feb. 28, same store sales decreased 0.9 percent over the prior-year period. Front-end same store sales decreased 2.9 percent while pharmacy same store sales, which included an approximate 317 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, were flat.

Rite Aid Corp. announced February sales were negatively impacted by a weak cough, cold and flu season, a Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday versus a Thursday last year and a slowing economy.

In February Rite Aid Corp. sold seven locations in downtown San Francisco and five Rite Aid locations in eastern Idaho to Walgreens.