Pharmacists say jobs are in jeopardy after Aldi, Winn-Dixie proposed merger agreement

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Pharmacists say jobs are in jeopardy after Aldi, Winn-Dixie proposed merger agreement (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local pharmacists told News4JAX their jobs are in jeopardy after grocery store chain Aldi announced it would acquire 400 Winn-Dixie stores and Harveys Supermarkets.

They said they recently received an email stating the stores affected by the acquisition would start the process of closing their pharmacies in the coming months.

Two pharmacists told News4JAX they are being forced to find a new job. Customers who use Winn-Dixie pharmacies aren’t looking forward to the change either.

Related: Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers selling 400 Winn-Dixie, Harveys stores to Aldi

″I’m upset,” Micki Green, who has shopped at Winn-Dixie for years, said. ″I like Winn-Dixie the way it is, and I don’t drive so I just walk across the street to get here.”

Green said she is not anticipating having to go somewhere else to get her prescriptions.

Southeastern Grocers confirmed that current Winn Dixie customers will be transferred to other pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens.

The director of communications for Southeastern Grovers sent the following statement:

Prior to the closing of the proposed merger agreements recently announced, Southeastern Grocers has entered into agreements to transfer prescription files to certain CVS Pharmacies and Walgreens. These agreements will help ensure that our pharmacy customers continue to have access to pharmacy services without interruption. We anticipate that the transfer of these pharmacy files will be completed by the end of 2023.

While we do not have a definitive date at this time, we can assure you that nothing changes today. We remain committed to protecting the health and wellness of our customers and communities until the transactions are finalized, and our pharmacy customers will be provided sufficient advance notice prior to the transfer. We are working closely with CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens to ensure that our customers’ prescriptions are handled carefully and confidentially and that there won’t be any delay in service.

CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens locations offer a convenient alternative for our customers. While we can’t speak for them, they have both shared that they know the quality of our team, and they have expressed a desire to interview our talented and passionate pharmacy associates.

Meredith Hurley

In a statement from Aldi’s CEO speaking about the acquisition, Jason Hart writes: “The transaction supports our long-term growth strategy across the United States, including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year, to reach a total of more than 2,400 stores by year-end.”

Some customers said they are looking forward to the change.

“Aldi is a good company, I think it’s low priced,” Mack Bissette, a Winn-Dixie customer, said.

Others said finding a new pharmacy will come with logistical challenges.

“If the next pharmaceutical company is really far away and there’s an older demographic of people who can’t drive, then that could be an issue,” Jacob Stotzky, a Winn-Dixie customer, said. “How are they going to get their prescriptions.”

It’s not yet clear which Winn Dixie stores will become Aldi stores.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.