Employee-Owned Bi-Mart to Exit Pharmacy Business and Transition Pharmacy Services to Walgreens
Bi-Mart to Focus on Strengthening Store Operations and Expand Across the Pacific NorthwestWalgreens to Transition Most Prescription Files to Nearby Locations
EUGENE, Ore. and DEERFIELD, Ill. Sept. 30, 2021 – The Bi-Mart executive team, on behalf of itsemployee-owners, and Walgreens today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement,pursuant to which Walgreens will acquire Bi-Mart’s pharmacy business, which includes pharmacy patient prescription files and related pharmacy inventory of 56 Bi-Mart pharmacies located across Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Bi-Mart’s retail stores will remain open to serve its members across the Pacific Northwest.
Prescription files from most Bi-Mart pharmacies will transfer to nearby Walgreens pharmacy locations. In select areas where Walgreens does not have nearby stores, Walgreens will operate pharmacies within existing Bi-Mart locations under the Walgreens brand, primarily located in rural areas in Oregon.Previously, Bi-Mart closed pharmacies in the Portland metro area and in several other markets andtransitioned prescription files to Walgreens.
“This decision, while difficult, is strategically important as we move to strengthen our solid financialposition and expand our plans for future growth in the Northwest,” said Rich Truett, president and CEO,Bi-Mart. “Bi-Mart’s core business is healthy and strong, however over the years factors such asincreasing costs and ongoing reimbursement pressure has led in part to our decision. We look forward to partnering with Walgreens to transition our pharmacy staff and members as seamless as possible.”
“Walgreens is pleased to introduce more patients to our trusted pharmacy services, that we currentlyprovide in over 9,000 locations in communities across the country including more than 70 acrossOregon,” said Rob Ewing, regional vice president, Walgreens. “We look forward to welcoming Bi-Martpatients to Walgreens pharmacy services, as well as providing employment opportunities to Bi-Martpharmacy associates in available positions throughout our stores where they can continue to meet theneeds of their patients.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, the companies expect the prescription file transfers to begin in October and be complete by January 2022. Bi-Mart pharmacists and pharmacy staff will have anopportunity to apply for available positions at Walgreens.
Patients whose prescriptions are being transferred will be notified by mail, and both companies will work together to help ensure a smooth transition for pharmacy patients. Once patient prescriptions are transferred from Bi-Mart to Walgreens, patients will have access to Walgreens trusted pharmacy services across a network of more than 9,000 pharmacies nationwide.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bi-Mart to Invest in the Future, Build on the Past
Bi-Mart is investing in improved store system technology, adding to its warehousing capabilities,upgrading older store infrastructure, and opening new stores across the Northwest to serve members.Bi-Mart recently launched a new website, www.bimart.com, that offers a search-able database ofmerchandise allowing members to Buy Online and Pick Up In-store. Additional enhancements areplanned for the future to allow members to purchase from across Bi-Mart and Cascade Farm & Outdoor to be picked up with their local Bi-Mart store.
For additional information Bi-Mart members may visit www.bimart.com/rxchange.
Bi-Mart (www.bimart.com) opened its first store in Yakima, Washington, in 1955—in the garage of one of the original founders. Since then, Bi-Mart has continued to grow to 80 stores throughout the Northwest in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. A pioneer of membership, discount shopping—Bi-Mart offers a “deep discount” approach to merchandising brand name goods, striving to offer a wide selection of top quality merchandise at low everyday prices. Each store deals mainly in hard goods in departments such as electronics, housewares, sporting goods, automotive, hardware, personal care, toys, clothing/shoes, beer/food/wine and more. Bi-Mart has an active membership of over 1.2 million membership families and currently employs over 3500 people. Bi-Mart has been employee owned since 2004 and it’s workforce is dedicated to serving its members across the Northwest.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is included in the United States segment of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), a global leader in retail pharmacy. As America’s most loved pharmacy, health and beauty company, Walgreens purpose is to champion the health and well-being of every community in America. Operating more than 9,000 retail locations across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health destination serving approximately 8 million customers each day. Walgreens pharmacists play a critical role in the U.S. healthcare system by providing a wide range of pharmacy and healthcare services. To best meet the needs of customers and patients, Walgreens offers a true omnichannel experience, with platforms bringing together physical and digital, supported by the latest technology to deliver high-quality products and services in local communities nationwide.