They still look like Rite Aid stores, but two of them are now Walgreens’.
Walgreens bought the Rite Aid stores on Upper Glen Street in Queensbury and Broad Street in Glens Falls last week.
While the big signs still say Rite Aid, small signs in the window and by the pharmacy will indicate the buildings are now owned and operated by Walgreens.
That’s important for those who are part of the Rite Aid pharmacy loyalty program. For now, the Plenti card and points are still accepted, but once Walgreens finishes converting the stores, customers won’t be able to use their Rite Aid rewards cards. Walgreens says that will probably happen in “a few months” but also says it will take a few years to finish converting all of its Rite Aid acquisitions.
At that point, customers who want to keep using their Plenti card at the pharmacy will have to transfer their prescriptions to a different Rite Aid.
For now, Walgreens customers can’t use their loyalty program at the new stores. Coupons and gift cards for Walgreens also won’t be accepted there for at least a few months, while computer systems are changed over, Walgreens officials said.
The purchases are part of a massive expansion by Walgreens, which is buying 1,932 Rite Aid stores this spring. There are so many new stores, the company warns it may take a few years to change all of the outdoor signs.
The company said it could take 18 months to change the stores’ interiors to offer the products and services normally offered at Walgreens.
Other than the rewards program, the change won’t be very noticeable. All Rite Aid employees at each store, including the pharmacies, will become Walgreens employees.
Walgreens is encouraging Rite Aid patients to switch to Walgreens and use a new prescription savings program called JustRx to pay less for prescriptions.
JustRx is free and offers savings on more than 300 common generic medications, with prices starting at $9.99 for a 30-day supply. Walgreens is one of the pharmacies that accepts the program, but others do, too, including Rite Aid and Hannaford.
The JustRx can’t be combined with insurance, so the price of each drug won’t count toward the patient’s deductible. But for those who use insurance rarely and have high co-pays or deductibles, it might be cheaper to pay out of pocket with JustRx.