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Rite Aid is growing

Hillary Wicai Aug 24, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: The drug store chain Rite Aid is about to get much bigger. Today, the company said it’s buying Eckerd and the Brooks chains from a Canadian firm. More now from Hillary Wicai.


HILLARY WICAI: The roughly $3 billion deal will beef Rite Aid up to about 5,000 stores. That’s just a couple hundred stores smaller than Walgreen.

CVS will remain No. 1 with more than 6,000 stores. Rite will buy the Brooks and Eckerd drugstore chains from Canada’s Jean Coutu group.

Retail analyst Greg Buzek is with the IHL Consulting Group. He says this not only gives Rite Aid better economies of scale. It moves them to the right locations.

GREG BUZEK: What’s happening obviously in our economy and our nation is that people are moving to the south and to the west. And this gives Rite Aid an opportunity to move into those markets where previously they would have had to build their own stores. Now, they can simply buy their way in.

The Rite Aid Corporation will remain based in Pennsylvania.

I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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