Rite Aid stores in Albion, Medina begin transition on Thursday to Walgreens

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Rite Aid store in Albion is pictured today. The pharmacy will begin transitioning to a Walgreens after 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Albion and Medina stores.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 February 2018 at 3:46 pm

Changeover expected to take up to 2 years

The transition starts on Thursday for two Rite Aid stores in Orleans County which will become Walgreens. That process won’t happen overnight.

It starts with the pharmacies at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The pharmacies will close at 5 p.m. Usually they stay open until 9 p.m. on Thursday.

They are expected to open as Walgreens pharmacies on Friday. Walgreens will work on fully changing over both stores in a process that could take two years with changing the signs and other branding and integration. One change in the future for the two local stores will be an extra hour each day of being open for business. Walgreens doesn’t close until 10 p.m.

Walgreens states on its website the pharmacies will have a seamless transition, keeping the same employees.

“The staff you know and trust will remain,” the company says. (Click here for more information from Walgreens.)

The Albion store was originally an Eckerd when it was built about 15 years ago at 10 East Ave. Medina’s store is located at 1422 South Main St.

Last year Walgreens agreed to buy more than 1,900 Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers for $4.4 billion. This year, the first stores have started to switch over to Walgreens.

The new owner doesn’t have a presence in Orleans County, although Walgreens in June 2007 received final approval from local planning officials for a new store in Albion.

Walgreens was planning on a 13,667-square-foot store that would have required demolishing the Sugar Creek gas station, the former Wiggly Jiggly’s English Pub and Chia Sen Buffet.

The Albion project never moved forward. The Sugar Creek gas station closed and is currently vacant. Wiggly Jiggly’s also closed and that space is now a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Chia Sen remains in that plaza.

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