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Bi-Mart to exit pharmacy business, transfer customers to nearby Walgreens

Bi-Mart

Move already had taken place in Portland area

EUGENE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bi-Mart executive team, on behalf of its employee-owners, and Walgreens announced Thursday they have entered into a definitive agreement in which Walgreens will acquire Bi-Mart’s pharmacy business, which includes pharmacy patient prescription files and related pharmacy inventory of 56 Bi-Mart pharmacies located across Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

Bi-Mart’s retail stores will remain open to serve its members across the Pacific Northwest, the company said in a news release, which continues below:

Prescription files from most Bi-Mart pharmacies will transfer to nearby Walgreens pharmacy locations. In select areas where Walgreens does not have nearby stores, Walgreens will operate pharmacies within existing Bi-Mart locations under the Walgreens brand, primarily located in rural areas in Oregon.

Previously, Bi-Mart closed pharmacies in the Portland metro area and in several other markets and transitioned prescription files to Walgreens.

“This decision, while difficult, is strategically important as we move to strengthen our solid financial position and expand our plans for future growth in the Northwest,” said Rich Truett, president and CEO of Bi-Mart. “Bi-Mart’s core business is healthy and strong, however over the years factors such as increasing costs and ongoing reimbursement pressure has led in part to our decision. We look forward to partnering with Walgreens to transition our pharmacy staff and members as seamless as possible.”  

“Walgreens is pleased to introduce more patients to our trusted pharmacy services, that we currently provide in over 9,000 locations in communities across the country including more than 70 across Oregon,” said Rob Ewing, regional vice president of Walgreens. “We look forward to welcoming Bi-Mart patients to Walgreens pharmacy services, as well as providing employment opportunities to Bi-Mart pharmacy associates in available positions throughout our stores, where they can continue to meet the needs of their patients.”

Subject to customary closing conditions, the companies expect the prescription file transfers to begin in October and be complete by January 2022.  Bi-Mart pharmacists and pharmacy staff will have an opportunity to apply for available positions at Walgreens.

Patients whose prescriptions are being transferred will be notified by mail, and both companies will work together to help ensure a smooth transition for pharmacy patients. Once patient prescriptions are transferred from Bi-Mart to Walgreens, patients will have access to Walgreens trusted pharmacy services across a network of more than 9,000 pharmacies nationwide.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bi-Mart to Invest in the Future, Build on the Past

Bi-Mart is investing in improved store system technology, adding to its warehousing capabilities, upgrading older store infrastructure, and opening new stores across the Northwest to serve members.

Bi-Mart recently launched a new website, www.bimart.com, that offers a search-able database of merchandise allowing members to Buy Online and Pick Up In-store.  Additional enhancements are planned for the future to allow members to purchase from across Bi-Mart and Cascade Farm & Outdoor to be picked up with their local Bi-Mart store.

For additional information Bi‑Mart members may visit www.bimart.com/rxchange.

KTVZ news sources

Comments

26 Comments

    1. I have two friends who are Bi-Mart techs, one just started last week. Both are now looking for work, the pharmacy employees knew nothing about this until this morning.

        1. Between the two of them they have over 40 years of experience, I believe they’re both going to walk away and find something completely different. People have no idea the stress and pressure they work under, all for corporate profits.

          1. That was never my experience at BiMart. The techs and pharmacists always took the time to discuss meds with me, even giving me advice on over-the-counter stuff.

        2. I can’t edit, so I’ll add that in the large chain pharmacies, every single step is computer-timed by how many seconds it takes to perform every step, from typing up a prescription to counting out 30 tablets to how long it takes to print out and slap on a label. As I said, the pressure is tremendous.

    2. Hometown is a great choice! Jeanne and Mike are great people! No sure if they still own the pharmacey in Sweethome still but they are always ready to help rural folks!

  1. oh boy, i hope this doesn’t effect Redmond walgreens even more. Doesn’t matter what time of day i show up, parking lot is full (some parking spots due to the construction of the auto zone next door), and the drive thru is 8 cars back. Last time it was 45 minutes in the drive thru, and i was late back from lunch. Seriously considering Safeway or Riteaid

    1. Yea not good. The Bend Walgreens I go to is slow enough as it is. Fortunately, it’s not the one that’s closest to the Bi-Mart, so hopefully it won’t get many of the Bi-Mart customers.

    2. Redmond Walgreens is already affected by staff shortages. Up until the other day, I’ve never spent more than 5-10 minutes in line or drive through. Now, we can expect 30 minute delays, pharmacy hours have been shortened due to staffing.

  2. Really big bummer. I have been shopping at BiMart since 1981 and using their pharmacy for 30 years. They are professional, helpful, have the time to explain stuff. I think I will just stop needing drugs haha

  3. The Redmond BiMart pharmacy staff are always friendly, helpful and professional. I am sorry to hear this news. There is no good talk about Walgreens in Redmond. Slow and slow is the word about them. We will choose somewhere else in Redmond rather than Walgreens.

  4. I am sorry to hear this. I love Bimart pharmacy in Prineville. I have known these people for decades. They know me by name. I hope they can all finds new jobs locally and if they found out when we found out , that is wrong.

    I will be calling tomorrow to find out what is going on, I don’t want my prescriptions transferred to Walgreens. For one they don’t take Les Schwab Blue Cross Insurance at least not last time I tried to go there. I will transfer mine to Rite-aid. I am not going to Redmond for my prescriptions. If I have to go to Rite-aid for my prescriptions I have no need to go to Bimart any longer.

    This is a bad move by Bimart.

  5. OMG. Walgreens on Franklin in Bend has been like walking into a third world country for weeks now. Average time for myself and coworkers to fleet prescriptions filled there was ten to fourteen days! You can’t use the drive up at the pharmacy. It’s closed. The pharmacy line is out to the front counter all day long. There are huge stacks of crates of unplaced merchandise all over the store. I had to go three days in a row to get my prescription finally filled while I waited over two hours on the third time after having to get rather vocal with them. It was already two weeks late. Just unbelievable.

    1. This, in itself, should be a news story. Why is Walgreens taking this long to fill scripts? What are the repercussions of the peoples health having to wait two weeks? And, for this kind of service, staff shortages is no excuse. I doubt KTVZ will send anyone out to find out.

  6. Barney- on what grounds was my post highlighting the fact that these pharmacies as “magnets” for the unhealthy who come inside and touch items (spreading germs/virus)- and that transactions should all be made “outside” removed… What TOS violation is in that comment ???

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