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Walgreens to acquire three El Amal pharmacies in Puerto Rico

BY Allison Cerra

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Walgreens announced Friday it will acquire three pharmacies from a drug store chain in Puerto Rico.

The El Amal pharmacies are expected to transition to the U.S. drug store chain by the end of February, Walgreens said.

Additionally, Walgreens also agreed to purchase prescription files associated with 11 El Amal pharmacies. Patients currently served by these 11 pharmacies will see notices in the stores and receive letters notifying them of the change. These locations, listed below, are expected to close by the end of the month. Patients will have immediate access to their prescription histories at a nearby Walgreens, or any of the Walgreens stores on the island:

  • Mayaguez Shopping Center, Mayaguez
  • Santa Maria Shopping Center, Ponce
  • Centro Del Sur Shopping Center, Ponce
  • Miramar #540, Arecibo
  • Valle Real Shopping Center, Ponce
  • Yauco Plaza, Yauco
  • Dorado Shopping Center, Dorado
  • Berwind Shopping Center, Rio Piedras
  • Corozal Plaza, Corozal
  • Bayamon Oeste Shopping Center, Bayamon
  • Ave. Sanchez Osorio, Carolina

“Pharmacy is the heart of our business and is a service we take great pride in providing,” said Nivia Santiago, Puerto Rico market VP for Walgreens. “This agreement allows us to quickly provide our innovative pharmacy services to more of the Island’s population. Lastly, we strongly believe in Puerto Rico’s potential for long-term economic growth. We’ve been a part of Puerto Rico for five decades and have witnessed Puerto Rico’s capacity to overcome difficult economic periods.”

The proposed transaction remains subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

After the transaction closes, Walgreens will re-merchandise and refresh the acquired stores, incorporating new signage and displays as well as high quality, value-priced Walgreens-brand products and services including complete online and digital photo offerings. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of calendar 2010, with the store transitions expected to be completed by this fall.

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Walgreens raises more than $1 million for Haiti

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Just days into offering customers the option to make donations to Haiti disaster relief efforts at its registers, Walgreens stores across the country have collected more than $1 million.

Contributions are helping the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund send much needed assistance and aid to those affected by last week’s earthquake.

Walgreens stores will continue taking customer donations through the end of the month, the drug store chain said.

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Standley to assume president, CEO roles at Rite Aid

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday announced that John Standley will be promoted to the position of president and CEO effective June 24 at the company’s annual stockholder meeting. Mary Sammons, currently Rite Aid chairman and CEO, will continue as chairman.

Standley’s promotion is part of the company’s executive succession plan and was approved Thursday at a regularly scheduled meeting of Rite Aid’s board of directors. Sammons, 63, will remain Rite Aid chairman until the company’s annual meeting in June 2012. Sammons said she intends to be an active chairman, continuing to represent the company in industry and government affairs as well as assist as needed with strategic initiatives.

Standley, 46, returned to Rite Aid in September 2008 as president and COO after leaving in August 2005 to become CEO and board director of Pathmark Stores, where he was credited for engineering a second turnaround, the first being Rite Aid during his first tour there. He originally joined Rite Aid in December 1999 as EVP and CFO, part of a new executive management team that also included Sammons. He has served as a member of the Rite Aid board since June 2009.

“When I asked [Standley] to return to Rite Aid, I knew he would move swiftly to improve our company’s operations,” Sammons said. “As president and COO, he’s helped us manage through this recession and set in motion initiatives to grow our company for the future. We are in a much stronger financial position today in large part due to his leadership. His many accomplishments in such a short time as president and COO and his previous successful track record at our company demonstrate his ability to guide Rite Aid as its next CEO.”

“It’s a privilege to work with [Sammons] and the 99,000 talented and dedicated Rite Aid associates to build on the considerable progress we’ve made in the past year,” Standley said. “While we still have a lot of hard work ahead, I’m confident in the strategies we’ve identified to improve our performance and look forward to leading the company as we continue to implement initiatives to grow profitable sales, further improve our cost structure and reduce debt.”

From 2005 until 2007, Standley engineered and led a successful turnaround at Pathmark, a $4 billion regional supermarket chain with a strong pharmacy business that was sold to A&P. At Rite Aid between 1999 and 2005, he served as chief administrative officer, senior EVP and CFO, where he was a key part of the team that helped realize Rite Aid’s first turnaround. Prior to Rite Aid, he served in key executive financial positions at various retail and grocery companies including Fleming, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s Grocery and Smith Food & Drug Centers. He is a member of the board of governors of the Children’s Miracle Network.

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