Wendy future of retail top

Aurora to exit supermarket pharmacy arena

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MILWAUKEE — Aurora Pharmacy has inked deals to sell 30 of its pharmacies, a move that marks the end of its supermarket prescription drug business.

The company, a subsidiary of health system Aurora Health Care, this week said it plans to sell 20 supermarket pharmacies to Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. and another 10 pharmacies, primarily in-store locations, to Walgreen Co. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

According to John Gates, director of operations for Aurora Pharmacy, the supermarket-based pharmacies were too small to offer Aurora’s full lineup of services, which includes home medical supplies. In addition, some of the pharmacies being sold to Walgreens are outside Aurora’s eastern Wisconsin market and could not be fully integrated with the Aurora Health Care network, he explained.

With the sales, Aurora will be left with 81 retail pharmacies, including freestanding stores and units in hospitals and clinics.

"These changes will strengthen our integration within Aurora and help ensure that all of our pharmacies are able to meet our patients’ needs with the same high level of services," Gates said in a statement.

Aurora reported that Walgreens plans to close the 10 pharmacies it is acquiring and transfer their prescriptions to its nearby stores.

The 20 Aurora-operated pharmacies being acquired by Roundy’s are inside its Pick ‘n Save and Copps supermarkets in Wisconsin. The grocery retailer said it expects to begin operating the pharmacies in December.


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