Southeastern Grocers entered into agreements to transfer prescription files to certain CVS Pharmacies and Walgreens locations.
When ALDI revealed its acquisition of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket on Aug. 16 from Southeastern Grocers, many were left to wonder about the banners’ pharmacies, since ALDI doesn't have these departments in its stores. Southeastern Grocers has now confirmed that before it made public its sale to ALDI, the company had entered into agreements regarding its pharmacy assets with Walgreens and CVS.
Southeastern Grocers provided the following statement to Progressive Grocer regarding this agreement: “Prior to the closing of the proposed merger agreements recently announced, Southeastern Grocers has entered into agreements to transfer prescription files to certain CVS Pharmacies and Walgreens. These agreements will help ensure that our pharmacy customers continue to have access to pharmacy services without interruption. We anticipate that the transfer of these pharmacy files will be completed by the end of 2023.
“While we do not have a definitive date at this time, we can assure you that nothing changes today. We remain committed to protecting the health and wellness of our customers and communities until the transactions are finalized, and our pharmacy customers will be provided sufficient advance notice prior to the transfer. We are working closely with CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens to ensure that our customers’ prescriptions are handled carefully and confidentially and that there won’t be any delay in service.”
On the topic of its pharmacists’ jobs, Southeastern Grocers has confirmed that Walgreens and CVS “have expressed a desire to interview our talented and passionate pharmacy associates.” Walgreens currently operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while CVS Pharmacy has almost 10,000 locations nationwide.
Concurrently with its ALDI deal, Southeastern Grocers has agreed to divest its Fresco y Más operations, which include 28 stores and four pharmacies, to the Fresco Retail Group LLC investment group. That sale is expected to be consummated in the first quarter of 2024, with all stores and pharmacies under the Fresco y Más banner to continue operating as they are currently.
Southeastern Grocers will also continue to operate Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores under their respective banners until the expected sale to ALDI closes in the first half of 2024.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, meatpacking, retail and other essential industries across North America, has already released a statement opposing ALDI’s acquisition.
With about 2,200 stores in 38 states, Batavia, Ill.-based ALDI U.S. employs 45,000-plus associates and is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers, meanwhile, currently operates more than 420 grocery stores, approximately 180 liquor stores and more than 230 in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The company is No. 44 on The PG 100. Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens is No. 5 and Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100.