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Drugstore chain Rite Aid to close at least 63 stores in the coming months

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A Rite Aid store is shown in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 16, 2019.Picture taken October 16, 2019.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Drugstore chain Rite Aid said Tuesday it plans to shutter at least 63 stores as it reassesses how many locations it needs in the United States.

The company said the closures were identified as part of an ongoing review and it anticipates it will find additional shops to close in the next several months.

Rite Aid said its goal is to reduce costs, boost profitability and have a “healthy foundation.” The company said the 63 closures, which began last month, are expected to boost its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by roughly $25 million.

On Tuesday, Rite Aid posted mixed financial results. Although it earned more than expected on an adjusted basis, its sales for the three months ended Nov. 27 came in lower than analysts expected. The retailer also cut its outlook for sales for the fiscal year.

Rite Aid shares were falling about 2% in premarket trading. The stock has dropped roughly 22% year to date, putting its market capitalization at nearly $692 million.

A list of the dozens of stores Rite Aid plans to shut wasn’t immediately available. Rite Aid operates more than 2,400 retail pharmacy locations in the U.S.

Last month, drugstore rival CVS Health said it will close roughly 900 stores over the next three years, as it adjusts to shoppers who are buying more online.

Both CVS and Walgreens have been focusing more effort on digital growth and turning stores into destinations that offer a range of health-care services, from flu shots to diagnostic tests.

Find the full earnings press release from Rite Aid here.

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