Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(Updated) BREAKING NEWS: Walgreens to Acquire Rite Aid for $9.4 Billion

image source: nytimes.com
image credit: Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Rite Aid's new owner? Walgreens.

(Just in: here's an article discussing the fate of Rite Aid's Thrifty Ice Cream.)

If you haven't heard the news today, this is a big one.

Walgreens Boots Alliance confirmed earlier reports on Tuesday that it would buy smaller rival Rite Aid in an all cash deal for $9.4 billion and assume its debt. 
The resulting company will be a pharmacy giant with nearly 13,000 U.S. drugstores, easily dwarfing CVS Health, as well as the large Boots chain in Europe, which Walgreens finished buying last year.
From The New York Times:
Rite Aid will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens operating under its own brand name when the deal is completed. 
Several waves of consolidation have reshaped the pharmacy industry. Since 2010, Walgreens has acquired Duane Reade, USA Drugs and Kerr Drug, helping it grow to more than 8,200 stores and revenue of $76 billion last year.

UPDATED (7:45PM Pacific, 10/27/15):

The companies didn't say whether there would be store closures or layoffs after the deal closes. But they said “decisions will be made over time regarding the integration of the two companies” and that Walgreens “plans to further transform Rite Aid's stores to better meet consumer needs.”
Rite Aid initially would continue operating under its existing name after the merger, which is expected to be completed in the second half of next year, the companies said.
It's possible that the deal would invite U.S. antitrust scrutiny because Walgreens and Rite Aid are such big players in the industry. Store divestitures could result.
More from the Los Angeles Times:
Vishnu Lekraj, senior analyst at the investment research firm Morningstar, said the deal allows Walgreens to increase its geographic footprint, especially in the Northeast, where Rite Aid — which is based in Camp Hill, Pa. — has developed a strong presence. 
Becoming a larger company also would give Walgreens more leverage and purchasing power with pharmaceutical suppliers, he said.
“They're already pretty sizable as it is,” Lekraj said. “They're probably the largest purchaser of pharmaceuticals in the world, and this is going to make them even more.” 
He also said there would likely be a review of the stores' overlapping coverage areas and that the Department of Justice would require them to shed some stores in certain regions, including California.
 
So it sounds like Walgreens will not immediately start closing stores or converting Rite Aid stores into Walgreens stores, but it could happen in the future ("Store divestitures could result."). When Walgreens purchased Duane Reade years ago, they did not convert those stores into Walgreens stores. Those stores still operate as Duane Reade locations to this day, but keep in mind that Duane Reade stores are only in the NYC area. Things could be different for Rite Aid, since we're talking about a chain that spans 31 states across the US. 

How will this impact weekly sales and store rewards at Rite Aid in the immediate future? Will Walgreens ditch the Plenti program and implement the Balance Rewards program at their newly-acquired Rite Aid stores? Or will they keep Plenti for their Rite Aid stores (and possibly implement the Plenti program in Walgreens stores)? We'll have to wait and see.  What will happen to beauty brands that can currently be found at Rite Aid, but not Walgreens? Will Walgreens consider carrying brands like Jesse's Girl, JulieG., Bonita Colors, etc. after the acquisition? Again, we'll have to wait and see.

If you'd like to play armchair quarterback in the comments, please go for it! I'd love to hear your predictions about how this will all shake out. 
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88 comments

  1. In regards to the NYC question, the stores are essentially Duane Reade "By Walgreens". The products at the Duane Reade/Walgreens in the city are the same. And they carry the Studio 35 brand. I'm really hoping Rite Aid gets to be independent. The prices are way better and so is the rewards program.

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    1. Thanks so much for confirming that (it's what I assumed, but I wasn't 100% sure). I'm totally with you here--I REALLY want Rite Aid to remain independent and continue to carry the brands we know and love them for (many that Walgreens doesn't carry). I would be devastated if they stopped carrying the iconic Thrifty Ice Cream. I mean, come on! (Although I did see Thrifty Ice Cream at Smart & Final the other day, so at least you can get it elsewhere.) #priorities lol.

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    2. I've actually never had the Thrifty Ice Cream, but after hearing so much about it I'm going to have to change that soon!

      Also, the Rite Aid in Grand Central Terminal (my usual one) recently got a major remodel. New floors, new store layout and the pharmacy was moved from one end to another. It also got "Walgreens / Duane Reade"-like stand alone displays with Real Techniques, Lumene, and some other "higher end" looking brands I haven't heard of. I'm not sure if this was just the one store or if it's an indication of what's to come with the merger.

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    3. I don't shop at Walgreens, and won't, and I have not purchased anything in Rite Aid since they switched the discount card program. I refused to sign off on an agreement that was more complicated than a mortgage. The price difference between the regular retail cost and cost with the discount card is absurdly high. Is this legal? It almost seems like coercion of some sort. No Rite Aid. No Walgreens, for this household.

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  2. I'm in NYC..when you go into Duane Reade, you're basically going into Walgreens.. Walgreens has a little more variety of things..but they're both SOOO expensive..which I'm kinda scared to hear this news because Rite Aid had the perks program that gave a discount if you spent a certain amount of money.. now the prices will probably go up ...and like you said, there's the question if they're going to keep the Plenti program.. aaahhh - @midgetwarri0r

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    1. Thanks for confirming! The Rite Aid Plenti program is very much like Walgreens Balance Rewards to me, so I can't say I'd be devastated if they changed to that program. I do still miss the Rite Aid Wellness+ program, because those rewards were AWESOME. :(

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  3. I'm bet they will close a couple of the four Rite Aids in my area, since there is also 2 Walgreens. I've never really noticed a price difference for their products, but a majority of stuff I buy at Meijer since they are cheaper than any of the drug stores around.

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    1. In San Diego, there's a pretty big price difference between Rite Aid and Walgreens (Rite Aid is often cheaper) but I know that can vary depending on your region. The best thing about Rite Aid when it comes to beauty is that they regularly offer 40% off sales on L'Oreal, Revlon, Wet n Wild, Physicians Formula, etc. while 40% off sales are far less frequent at Walgreens. And Walgreens doesn't carry Physicians Formula at all, now that I think about it (at least in my area). So if Walgreens implements their weekly sale structure at Rite Aid, I'll be very sad to see those discounts go away. With store rewards and coupons, you can consistently get excellent deals at Rite Aid on makeup. I mean, almost free products if you play your cards right.

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    2. Well, the plenti system messed up my rewards. It'll scan and give me discounts, but that's it. No +up rewards, etc. Plenti tells me to have Rite Aid fix it, Rite Aid says Plenti has to fix it. So I don't really go there anymore unless there's a sale. I'll be sad if they don't do the 40% sales anymore, now that you mention it, I don't think I've seen any of the other stores in my area do those.

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  4. Sadly for many people it goes beyond makeup. My health insurance is not accepted at walgreens. It is accepted at Rite Aid. I hope they do stay VERY separate entities.

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    1. Good point. *crosses fingers*

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    2. Oh I don't doubt that at all--what I said was written in the context of this being a beauty blog, but I certainly understand the implications could be far more serious for many people. I'm sorry to hear about your situation and I truly hope you don't run into any issues as a result of this.

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    3. Oh I wasn't being snarky, I'm not sure if it came across that way. I work in healthcare and this is being talked about and people are scared. Again no snark, medication was just the first thing that came to mind when I saw the post. My RA, rarely has the products I want or am looking for.

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    4. @Poetry omg I didn't take it as snark at all!! If anything, I was hoping you didn't find me insensitive since my post was focused on the beauty aspect! xo

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  5. I'm nervous now. I go to Rite Aid because they carry brands other stores don't and I love the rewards program. I always spend enough for the 20% off during the year and it keeps me going back. Here's to hoping they keep everything not just independent but the same.

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    1. I agree. I absolutely love the variety of having the big three all in my town, and I enjoy the products that are unique to each (Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens). To imagine that the things that make Rite Aid unique may go away is too much for me to comprehend right now. I'm sure that sounds silly to some, but I've been writing a blog about drugstore makeup for almost 7 years now, so it's something I live and breathe. :(

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    2. That's how I still feel when we had Genovese drugstores before CVS, they had such a variety of beauty products,fragrances etc that you never find at CVS, Walgreens or RA today. As the years go by the selections everywhere are less and less. What I took for granted is no more. Mostly Same stuff in these stores of major brands. I purchased bottles of Alyssa Ashley sp? Perfumes French garden etc from Genovese on sale for $2.25. Still have them from the 90's. Ebay prices are outrageous.Pretty bath sets for gifts. Btw I miss the fragrances from the 90's from Bath and Body works. All the scents smell synthetic,sweet and watered down. I can't find the honeysuckle or raspberry shower gel and lotion. Any idea where I can find them?

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    3. Yep, what you described is exactly how I felt here in San Diego when CVS bought all the Long's Drugs (Long's is still in Hawaii but that's it). Long's carried a large selection of Palladio and other smaller brands that the big guys just don't carry. So sad that our variety as consumers keeps dwindling.

      Did you know that Rite Aid carries Alyssa Ashley? Well at least in my area. That might not be a consolation considering today's news, but maybe you can still find some there in the immediate future?

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    4. Yes, they had 2 AA perfumes once on display, but they were not those delicious smelling floral in the pretty bottles. I think they went away when the new law on perfume ingredients took place. That really ruined things.

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    5. I know, I hope the main one in my area stays too, I don't frequent Wags because of the 20% off I get at RA. Hmmm. Here's hoping things don't change TOO much.

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  6. I read that Rite Aid stores will initially keep the Rite Aid name but that this will probably change over time.

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    1. Can you share your source? Thanks!

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    2. Exactly which means they will be carrying what Walgreens carries. I really wanted a Rite Aid here in Houston so I can get the cute things Walgreens doesnt carry :(

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    3. If you Google "Walgreens Rite Aide" there will be numerous links to the AP article which is where I read it.

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    4. Oops "Rite Aid" not "Rite Aide"

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    5. USA Today had an article stating, "Walgreens said Rite Aid would keep its brand name for now.". I'm assuming they want to see how Rite Aid will continue to perform financially before any definite branding is made. Of course all of this is going to be dependent on if they receive FTC approval. This will shrink from a field of 3 giant chains to 2, if they get the go ahead. I'm sure there will be a number of parties that will raise concerns over it, which they should. Antitrust laws are there to protect consumers from monopolies. None the less Reuter's was reporting they expected to get FTC approval in the 2nd quarter of 2016.

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    6. Thanks @nmbusser! I think I was reading new articles and updating this post as your comments came through. The LA Times article today echos what you said, so I included some quotes in my update. Thanks so much!

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    7. Thanks, @LittleSugar. I actually was updating this post as your comment came through, with much of the same info you shared. Appreciate you taking the time to provide that info here. :)

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  7. You know, I haven't shopped much at Rite Aid since they got rid of the wellness points system -- the Plenti thing is just too complicated for me, I guess. As long as Rite Aid keeps up the frequency of their 40% off sales (Loreal, Revlon, etc) I'll be ok... maybe :)

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    1. Plenti is essentially very similar to the Walgreens rewards, if you're familiar with that program. You basically just earn points on your card, which you can then use as store credit on future purchases. But yeah, here's to hoping they keep those 40% off sales, right?

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    2. They never got rid of the Wellness points, the Plenti program is essentially replacing the +up rewards you used to be able to earn. You can still earn wellness points with every purchase and earn that 20% for the year. Which is nothing to sneeze at.

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    3. Thanks for that, Tarah. I completely agree, and I was using the wrong wording previously. the +UP Rewards are what I miss (desperately), but the Wellness Points are still very much around, like you said. I'm a Silver right now. Yay! :)

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    4. I work there so i'm not saying I'm biased, but where else can you over time earn the same discount as the employees? :)

      Its going to be interesting to see where this goes, I was originally an Eckerds employee and got grandfathered in during the last merger.

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  8. Rite Aid is so so so much better than Walgreens. *heart breaks*

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    1. I like both (for very different reasons) but I'm very sad at the idea that our options and variety may be shrinking in the future. :(

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    2. Totally agree G, I'm so torn over this for that reason too. :-/

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  9. The Duane Reed near my dad's office had Wayyy more stuff than my local Walgreens. They had Cargo and stuff but I still remember seeing Rimmel and I think Revo Lip Balms also. I wonder what will happen with the points!

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! I'm curious what will happen with the different programs as well. Will all stores use Balance Rewards now? Or what if Walgreens decides to implement the Plenti program at Walgreens stores? Who knows at this point...

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  10. Duane Reade had its own private brand products before Walgreens purchased it - those largely remained the same and were just switched over to the Nice! brand. Duane Reade had better sales though for sure! Certain Duane Reade stores carried harder to find lines like LA splash. Not so much the case anymore, and Walgreens has never stocked them (to my knowledge).

    And agreed G, totally miss the old wellness+ rewards. :(

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    1. Thanks for the insights, florence! I wonder if they will let Rite Aid keep any of its unique qualities at this point (see my latest update in my blog post above). It's all so up in the air..I don't know what to think at this point.

      And yes, I miss the old Wellness+ rewards SO much. :(

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  11. The only drugstore/pharmacy in my town is Rite Aid. I rarely shop for makeup there unless i have coupons or they have awesome deals because their still a bit pricey to me and my Rite Aid has a very disappointing beauty section. Hopefully Rite Aid stays independent but also it would be cool if Walgreens brought in some of the brands they sell to Rite Aid. What would be even cooler is if they could bring some prestige lines with them.

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    1. It's so interesting how different things can be depending on the store and region. In my area, there are many Rite Aid stores that have the most amazing beauty section--all of the newest limited edition collections are there quickly and products are always in stock. Almost the opposite of what you're describing in your area, right?

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    2. Yes, but i live in a small town in VA. The town is literally just a shopping center lol. After moving from MD to VA i have noticed that VA only has half the size of any store. I mean the Rite Aid i have has a decent sized beauty section but there is never new product. And if there is new product its almost like they hide it behind other things on small end caps. They recently got rid of NYC products but never replaced it with another display.

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  12. The Walgreens rewards program kind of sucks. You basically get $1 for every $100 you spend.
    I have 10% off non-sale items at Riteaid, plus I learned that with Plenti you can buy things for Plenti points at Riteaid, then turn around and spend your points at Macy's on high-end makeup, which is kind of awesome.

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    1. Wait, you're not counting the weekly sales, right? For Walgreens, there are sales on beauty, etc. each week where you can earn extra points, like "Buy $25 worth of Maybelline cosmetics and get 1000 points" (that's just an example, not a real sale right now). And they also do those special days where you can earn 5x points on all your purchases, etc.

      But yes, I LOVE that you can use Plenti points at various other retailers (and earn them at other retailers too), but I always end up using my Plenti points at Rite Aid because that's where I shop the most (as opposed to Macy's, etc.). So I never accrue enough to get those high-end cosmetics at Macy's, darnit! lol.

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  13. Maybe they'll bring Rite Aid to Wisconsin!! We don't have any!

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    1. Check out my updated post (above)...I wish that would happen for you, but it doesn't sound like that's how this is probably going to pan out. :(

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    2. "the deal allows Walgreens to increase its geographic footprint" There is hope!!!

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    3. That footprint would be more Walgreens stores though, since the plan is to keep the Rite Aid name "for now." They may eventually convert the Rite Aids to Walgreens, not vice versa.

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  14. I also live in NYC and I found in the outer boroughs, some Duane Reades still don't carry the same things as Walgreens. My local Duane Reade never brought in a Milani display. But some larger Duane Reade's, converted to everything plus the Boots displays minus prestige.

    I will be sad to see Rite Aid's great sales disappear. I pretty much camp those 40% off sales. And to be perfectly honest I don't like how Walgreens does its rewards program. I might just shop at CVS once Rite Aid is gone. Pity, I just hit Bronze tier for Rite Aid's rewards program. Oh and those brushes :( I should probably pick up the ones I've been holding out on.

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    1. Thanks, Kitty! That's very interesting. I had no idea that Duane Reade doesn't carry Milani (well at least not all stores?).

      And yes, I'm devastated at the thought of those great Rite Aid sales going away. And you read my mind about the Rite Aid Renewal brushes--I'm seriously thinking about stockpiling right now. Getting so sad just thinking about....

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    2. The Walgreens and RA in my area of Long Island NY do not carry Milani or Wags exclusive wet n wild products. They are terrible, plus their prices are outrageous. Those RA brushes are great stock up while you can. Also the powder puffs.

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    3. Yep, I plan to stockpile those Rite Aid brushes, for sure.

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    4. Which brushes are your recommendation?

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    5. Me too. Love all of them, actually. I use the powder and blush brushes a lot, and the larger eyeshadow brush. Time to stock up on some back ups for sure. *sigh*

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  15. Actually, Walgreens Balance Rewards isn't like RA's Plenti program because at Walgreens you can't use your points to make a purchase AND get back more points, even if what you're buying is advertised to give back points. You can do this at RA with Plenti points. That's the key difference between Walgreens' and RA's points systems.

    Needless to say, I absolutely hate this purchase and am hoping Walgreens will leave RA's coupon policy and the Plenti program alone! Ever better is if CVS will buy out Walgreens in the future. Nearly all my purchases at Walgreens using coupons have been negative ones (being called a fraud, not buying the item pictured on the coupon even though the coupon says "any" from the brand, using "too many" coupons when I'm using one per item, etc!), whereas at Rite Aid the cashiers and managers are always so nice and educated about coupons. Plus my 20% Gold discount makes stuff like toothpastes and hair ties moneymakers after Plenti points!

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    1. Thanks for the clarification! I guess I just meant that the general structure is the same to me--you earn points with purchases and they go straight to your card to redeem at a later time, whereas with CVS you can get paper and turn around and use your Extra Bucks immediately. I miss that about the +UP rewards so much--now Plenti feels just like Balance Rewards. But you're absolutely right that they're not identical. Thank you!!

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    2. I have terrible CS at Wags too. Once I had to exchange something and the mgr told me I 'walked around the section too long' before coming to the CS counter. I was like what!? I was picking my exchange item to save THEM time, instead of doing 2 separate transactions! She was so rude about it too. Not a fan of thiers after that lovely experience. RA is always so friendly it was like night and day. Bah humbug!

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  16. Rite aids in GA suck across the board. I've been to almost every one in a 40 mile radius of metro Atlanta and in downtown over the years, hoping urban stores would have better offerings than suburban or rural ones. I keep seeing locations close one after the other, so this news is something I was anticipating. Walgreens is far superior imo, rite aids here have dusty shelves with old (1-2 yrs old) collections they refuse to clearance out; forget them bringing in new, exciting things! Walgreens can wipe out rite aids down here for all I care, seems like they've given up.

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    1. Thanks for sharing what it's like in your area. I can certainly understand why today's news wouldn't be a bad thing for you!

      It's so interesting how drugstores can vary so dramatically from region to region. In San Diego, the Rite Aid stores I frequent are pretty darn amazing. They have all of the very latest limited edition collections, items are always in stock, and they've upgraded many of our stores with new, modem natural beauty departments with brands like Dr Bronners, Alba, etc. and a nice variety of products from brands like Jr Watkins, which are harder to find elsewhere. And the Rite Aid brand beauty line is killing it right now with so many new brushes and beauty tools. Plus, they carry full displays of Black Radiance and Black Opal, which I know are harder to find elsewhere. Gosh, the more I write the sadder I get, thinking this might all go away eventually. :(

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  17. My kmart sells expired collections from years ago.

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  18. Hey G! I'm not really sure how to feel about this. I've never been a fan of Rite Aid (I held a grudge when they took over Brookes in western MA years back as a little kid). I find they have less selection, poorer customer service, and I do not understand their rewards system AT ALL! What is the Plenti system by the way? Other than CVS, who IMO makes rewards very easy, I don't understand drugstore reward programs for the life of me! What are the differences between the rite aid rewards and Walgreens rewards programs? Thanks for the info!

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  19. This is so odd to me because they just built a brand new Rite Aid store in my town!

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    1. Same here, your comment just reminded me. Hmmm ok now I'm really confused...

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    2. They just renovated the Rite Aid in my area as well!

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    3. As someone who has worked for a corporation that was purchased by an even bigger corporation, I can tell you that this is very common. Decisions to expand and renovate are planned far far in advance, and even if the executive level knew about the impending sale prior to the expansions and renovations, it's likely that they would want staff to carry on with business as usual and keep those projects in place. There so so many factors involved when you're dealing with a corporation, and even if something makes no sense to outsiders, it could make perfect sense from within the corporation.

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  20. I haven't seen many Rite Aid stores in my area of NC, and the few I have been in have been run down with limited selections of everything, not just cosmetics. For me, this news won't cause a huge change in my shopping habits. Having said that, it still makes me sad. In every industry, companies are closing down or being bought out. Consumers have less and less variety and choice. Heck, I remember when CVS was Revco in my hometown, and I'm still not over that. I don't deal with change very well!

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  21. Oh dear... I really wouldn't mind if Rite Aid stayed the same or changed into Walgreens. I just hope that they do continue to carry Jessie's Girl makeup! I love their loose eyeshadows to bits, I'd cry if I couldn't get them any longer. Though, maybe Walgreens will open new stores in towns that don't have any (like the itty bitty town I live in!). I'm curious to see what's going to happen with Rite Aid stores!

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  22. I hate going into Rite-Aid in my little neck of the L.A. 'burbs. They redesigned the store so the aisles are at an angle and I can never find what I'm looking for. I can't see the items (ex: Shampoos, Baby Wipes, etc.) until I'm in the aisle. And the store is always messy. Like people rifle through the items but no one bothers to organize the displays. My local Walgreens, on the other hand, is organized and I can find what I'm looking for quickly. And it's clean. Nothing out of place that I've ever seen. As far as carrying certain brands, I don't buy the lesser known ones so that's not a problem for me. If I had to pick one, it would be, without a doubt, Walgreens.

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  23. Oh no. Majority of the time I always shop at Rite Aid and cheaper than Walgreens. There's always discount almost every week at Rite Aid which I love the 40% off. Also it has more plan. This is going to suck I get my medication from Rite Aid hopefully nothing chages.

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  24. In Utica, NY there are only Rite Aid and Walgreen's with Rite Aid outnumbering Walgreen's 2-1. The 3 Walgreen's locations have a Rite Aid either across the street or on the next block. With the locations so close it will be very interesting to see what happens. I do miss the Wellness program Rite Aid and don't care for Plenti so maybe that will change. It would be nice if both stores could combine points!!!!

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  25. I actually live in an area where there are no Walgreens whatsoever. It's all rite aid and cvs, so any switch over will probably confuse everyone!

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  26. If the Albertsons/Vons merger is any indication, some of the Rite-Aid stores close to Walgreen ones might have to close.

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  27. I'm not at all surprised. I live in upstate South Carolina and they've closed down at least 5 different Rite Aids. All the ones here were Rite Aid/Sav a Lot combos and honestly were kind of sketchy.

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    1. I live in same area . I hate to even see the sales for rite aid since I know Greenville only has sav a lot which doesn't have the deals .

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  28. Rite Aid is significantly less expensive than Walgreens here (LA) - CVS is somewhere in the middle. I really hope we don't end up with the higher prices at all the stores :(

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  29. I live in a smaller town alit of u may have hear if recently I. The news with the girl running over ppl in the homecoming parade in OK. We don't have a lot of Rite Aids around. I don't think. Not in my town and always miss out in their sales. I would so love to have had a Rite aid here. But r wags and CVS r not very big store to begin with and LE collection r few and far between. My Wags cosmetic counter lady is Wonderful. She keeps a huge binder there she has coupons for customers and will find u the best deal possible to stack coupons and deals. And let I know whe u should wait to buy something if u can that's there is going to be a sale. She taught me how to do their rewards a program and to wait till end if their year to get the most out of them. Then when to spend and when to wait for the sales on to use those. She's the best. I just wish we had more selection and bigger stores. We have two Walmarts and smaller Ulta. No Target. No Sephora near like over 60-70 miles away probably never been in one. Always lived in smaller towns than this before. Didn't even know what Sephora or Ultas were till Kats cpl yrs. always online ordering. CVS is the only one with a small display of Milani. But did get Elf a small display. Walmarts r getting more Elf products slowly. But just wanted to be near a Rite Aid so bad. Wish Wlagreens would bring some if thier brands in.

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  30. I don't know if they would close any Rite Aids in my area, but I wonder if they'll have huge sales to get rid of some of their products to sell the Walgreens ones.

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  31. That'd be kind of sad if Rite Aid got changed drastically. I do like their sales and I like the automatic discount on a lot of things just for having a rewards card. (The Plenti points system doesn't seem to be as good, though, or I haven't yet warmed to it.) I hope they keep the 40 percent beauty sales going, and some of the unique to Rite Aid products. That's my quick, cheap little therapy, to run to the drug store and browse for makeup and score the occasional deal. I'd hate to lose that, especially since there are a couple really good Rite Aids near me. (And they always feel a bit more personal to me, like each one is a touch more unique than, say your average Walgreens. I know that's not true, but I tend to find more surprises and interesting finds in Rite Aid's clearance bins and in their seasonal and LE displays.)

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  32. I am so bummed about this, I hate Walgreens!!!

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  33. I don't go to Walgreens as much as Rite-Aid! ! I really hope this deal doesn't happen!! I am still not over that New York Color was removed from Rite-Aid and CVS! !! :(((

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  34. Shocking but not surprising at all. The writing was on the wall if you ask me, rite aid has been inferior for years to the other giants in their retail market. I used to work for CVS and if Walgreens can finally give them that kind of competitive challenge it can only benefit everyone in the end.

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  35. Wow this has been fun Sunday night reading! G hit the nail on the head regarding my sentiments when it comes to what I like from the big 3 here in NYC (CVS, Wags, Rite Aid). Just weighing in to spotlight what exactly I love about each. CVS: best user-friend rewards program, I spend the most there bc I am always using Extra Care bucks. Walgreens: best variety of Sinful Colors and only place I know where there is a monthly half-off deal for them, and I love searching the store for their clearance section. Rite Aid: only place I know where I can get recurring, BOGO deal on Sinful Colors, Jesse's Girl and Julie G polish, and most stores have a clearance bin I can sift through. CVS has no clearance section or bins!

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  36. This is one of the things I love most about Nouveau Cheap. I'm fascinated by corporate merger type stuff (maybe I've seen Working Girl too many times) and I prefer it over the "here's 20 MAC lipsticks I just bought" posts I see on the majority of other beauty blogs.

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    1. Thank you so much for that, Saturday. I really appreciate it! xo

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  37. I spoke to the SA at the Rite Aid across the street from Walgreens, and he said they were told there are no plans right now to close any Rite Aids, and it will be a couple of years before products start changing. Of course, take that with a grain of salt, since I'm sure management isn't going to tell them they're going to lose their jobs by a certain date for fear of everyone quitting.

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    1. Thanks for that info, KD. And yeah, I agree with you on the last part. When I worked for a corporation that was acquired by another corporation, it was definitely a long, drawn-out process, but the lay-offs came faster than anyone expected. It's so hard to predict what will happen (impossible, actually) and my heart truly and deeply goes out to all employees at this time. It is hell to work through an acquisition and wonder every day if you're going to have a job in the end. Having been through that myself, I don't wish it on anyone, but it's sad fact in today's world.

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