Kerr Drug customers won't see big changes, Walgreens says

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 08:04 AM

The Kerr Drug store in downtown Lenoir could see a few changes as ownership shifts Nov. 1 to Walgreens, but nothing major in the near term, a company spokesman said.

Most services that Kerr Drug stores offer, including prescription delivery service at the Lenoir location, will be continued after Walgreens takes over, said Michael Polzin, division vice president of corporate communications with Walgreens.

Polzin said that sometime after the beginning of the year, work will begin to bring the Lenoir store onto the Walgreens network. Any retrofitting or updates to the facility will also be done at that time, said Diane Eliezer, director of marketing for Kerr.

The Kerr Drug in Lenoir currently employs 16 people, store manager Linda Barlow said.

Walgreens, the largest drug store chain in the country, announced a month ago it was buying Kerr Drug to expand the company's North Carolina presence and help deliver the company's "Well Experience," an effort to help community pharmacists connect to customers. "Kerr Drug's standard of innovation and excellence in pharmacy service also alligns well with Walgreens strategy to transform the role community pharmacy plays in healthcare," Walgreens said in a Sept. 10 press release.

The acquisition includes Kerr’s 76 retail drug stores, its specialty pharmacy business and a distribution center, but Kerr will retain control of its long-term-care business, the release said.

Walgreens intends to keep the vast majority of Kerr stores open, Eliezer said.

How much Walgreens will pay for Kerr has not been disclosed. In 2012, Kerr had $381 million in sales.

Walgreens and Kerr will continue to operate separately until the sale closes, and once it closes, the release states, Kerr will continue to operate under the Kerr name in the “near term.”

The sale should be finalized by the second week in November, Eliezer said, and Walgreens should start to transition a few stores per week by February, and by April or May the process should be complete.