Despite indications that some new stores planned by Rite Aid Corp. elsewhere are being halted or delayed, two new North Spokane outlets for the Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug-store chain are expected to proceed, say Spokane developers who are working on those projects.
In an earnings report earlier this week, Rite Aid said that it has scaled back its previously announced store-development plans, from about 300 new or relocated outlets during fiscal 2000, to just 250 outlets. Though Rite Aid officials couldnt be reached for comment, developers here confirm that Rite Aid is halting projects elsewhere.
Here, however, Baker Construction & Development Inc., of Spokane, has completed a 16,750-square-foot Rite Aid store at the Heritage Village shopping center near the Division Street Y. Barry Baker, president of Baker Construction, says that store is expected to open this fall.
Meanwhile, construction of another North Side store, which is slated to be built near the northwest corner of Division and Francis Avenue, still is expected to start next spring, says Tim Stulc, a project manager for Vandervert Construction Inc., which is the Spokane general contractor for that project. He says Rite Aid had talked of delaying construction on that 14,000-square-foot store.
It sounds like this store will be one that makes it, Stulc says.
Baker says that while the planned new Rite Aid stores in Spokane are on track, Rite Aid is evaluating each of its proposed projects on a case-by-case basis. Baker Construction earlier had been told to halt work on a new store it had been hired to build for Rite Aid in Renton, Wash. He says, though, it since has been told to resume that project.
Stulc says Rite Aid has put a hold on two or three new-store construction projects that Vandervert had been bidding for in other cities.
Late last month, Rite Aid announced plans to lay off about 330 people, and also said it would realign its West Coast distribution network to save $45 million annually, the company has said.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE