Walgreens plans to close hundreds of stores

FILE - This June 4, 2014, file photo, shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. (Charles Krupa)

Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 from rival Rite Aid.

Company spokesman Michael Polzin said Wednesday that most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network.

Walgreens isn't saying which stores will close.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in Deerfield, Illinois, announced its acquisition plan last month, nearly two years after the nation's biggest drugstore chain launched an attempt to buy all of Rite Aid Corp., based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Regulators balked at that bigger deal.

The store closings will start next spring and be completed over 18 months. Walgreens operates more than 13,200 stores worldwide.

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