Bartell Drugs to be sold to Rite Aid for $95 million

Bartell Drugs, one of the oldest companies in Washington state, is being sold to Rite Aid for $95 million. The regional pharmacy chain has 67 stores and has been owned by the Bartell family since its founding in Seattle in 1890. "We felt that this was the only answer," said George D.

Bartell Drugs, one of the oldest companies in Washington state, is being sold to Rite Aid for $95 million. The regional pharmacy chain has 67 stores and has been owned by the Bartell family since its founding in Seattle in 1890. "We felt that this was the only answer," said George D. Bartell, chairman of the company started by his grandfather, George H. Bartell Sr. "It was getting more difficult for regional operators to compete in the market." Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid's president and CEO, said there were no plans to close locations or lay off any of Bartell's roughly 1,600 retail staff, and the Bartell name will remain on the stores. Donigan said Bartell's approximately 70 corporate employees, including CEO Kathi Lentzsch, would "be carefully and equally vetted" for positions in the merged company. Pending regulatory approval, the sale is expected to close in December. A key part of Bartell's appeal, said Donigan, is the company's focus on local markets and its presence in so many neighborhoods. "That's kind of who we want to be, more and more, is your local neighborhood pharmacy," said Donigan. "Together, this is going to be a terrific combination."