A pharmacy within a grocery store offers the best of both worlds: While waiting to get your prescriptions filled, you can fill up your shopping cart, and check two things off of your to-do list at once. But if you rely on this service, you should make sure your go-to location is staying put. One popular supermarket chain just announced that it will be closing all 89 of its in-store pharmacies, which could put a kink in your one-stop shopping experience. Read on to find out which chain is closing pharmacies, and whether your prescriptions will be affected.
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Big-name pharmacies have been closing locations nationwide.
Brick-and-mortar pharmacies have been closing locations this year, including Rite Aid and CVS. In April, Rite Aid announced it would be closing 145 stores in 2022, with two Sacramento, California, locations closing up shop in early May.
Back in Nov. 2021, CVS announced plans to close 900 stores over the next three years. The chain has made good on its promise, shuttering several locations this summer in Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. More closures are slated for September—a CVS in Fresno, California, will be closed on Sept. 13, and another location on Georgia Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., is also set to close on Sept. 16.
But the latest round of pharmacy closures will affect people who prefer picking up their prescriptions at the grocery store.
A total of 89 in-store pharmacies are getting the boot.
We all have a trusted pharmacy—maybe you know the staff or the pharmacist by name—and finding a new location can be frustrating. But if you normally fill your prescriptions at Save Mart, Lucky California, or Lucky stores, you're unfortunately out of luck.
According to the Save Mart Companies company profile, there are approximately 200 stores across California and Northern Nevada, which operate under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California, and FoodMaxx. Per the profile, at these locations, the company currently operates 89 full-service pharmacies, including 46 at Save Mart stores, 30 at Lucky California stores, and 13 at Lucky stores.
Best Life reached out to Save Mart for comment on the closures, but has not yet heard back yet.
Existing prescriptions will be transferred to another pharmacy.
Save Mart has yet to confirm when closures will begin, but News 4-Fox-11 reports that pharmacies in Reno, Carson City, and Sparks, Nevada, will close their doors by the start of September. A sign at the Pyramid Lake Highway Save Mart in Sparks confirms its pharmacy will be closed by Aug. 17.
Considering how quickly the pharmacies are closing, if you get your scripts here, you're probably wondering what this means for you. According to a statement provided to ABC10, you'll now be getting your prescriptions at another popular pharmacy: Walgreens.
"We remain committed to serving our local communities in health and wellness for all their grocery needs as well as further developing our innovative technologies and tools that enhance the lives of our associates, customers, and communities we serve," Save Mart told the outlet.
Both customers and employees are concerned.
According to News 4-Fox 11, customers are disappointed to see the Nevada locations go, citing the "excellent pharmacists," and expressed concern about the wait time at Walgreens locations. But in addition to moving customers' prescriptions, Save Mart stated that it is working with Walgreens to transfer pharmacy staff members, per the statement to ABC10.
"We value our Pharmacy staff and the service they have provided to our patients. Walgreens expressed great interest in hiring and has the intention to hire as many of our Pharmacy associates as possible, which will enable our patients to continue being served by our associates," the company said.
At this point, there has been no official statement on how many pharmacists will be transferred, nor how many are currently employed by Save Mart, per ABC10. According to News 4-Fox 11, existing employees will actually have to reapply for work at a new Walgreens location.
As for Save Mart employees in California, they are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW-8), per ABC10. "We have reached out to the company to discuss how their decision impacts our members," a notice from the union to Save Mart employees states, adding that it is working with union companies to "help facilitate hiring members working in the closing pharmacies."