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NEW YORK -- Rite Aid Corp. plans to close as many as 117 stores over the next year, according to an Associated Press report.
Reporting that its loss doubled in its fourth quarter, the Camp Hill, Pa.-based drugstore operator said the closings will be scattered around the country, targeting those with weak sales or close to another Rite Aid. Approximately 70 of the stores slated for closure used to be part of the Brooks Eckerd chain. Rite Aid bought 1,850 of those stores in June 2007, for $2.36 billion, but they have not done as well as Rite Aid's older stores.
Rite Aid said fourth-quarter results were hurt by the recession, along with a fairly mild cough, cold and flu season and the introduction of new low-cost generic drugs.
The chain had 4,901 stores in 31 states at the end of February. Excluding write-downs and other one-time costs, Rite Aid lost $116.9 million, or 14 cents per share. Revenue fell 2 percent to $6.71 billion.
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