Walgreens to close 600 stores as part of Rite Aid deal

FILE - This Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, file photo, shows a Rite Aid location in Philadelphia. Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 locations from rival Rite Aid. A company spokesman says most of the closings will involve Rite Aid locations, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network. The company isn’t saying where the closings will occur, but they will start in spring 2018 and be completed over 18 months. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP) — Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 from rival Rite Aid.

Company spokesman Michael Polzin said Wednesday that most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network.

Walgreens isn’t saying which stores will close.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in Deerfield, Illinois, announced its acquisition plan last month, nearly two years after the nation’s biggest drugstore chain launched an attempt to buy all of Rite Aid Corp., based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Regulators balked at that bigger deal.

The store closings will start next spring and be completed over 18 months. Walgreens operates more than 13,200 stores worldwide.

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