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Not just Aldi, CVS and Walgreens also to get piece of Winn-Dixie

The parent company of the Florida grocer is getting rid of its pharmacy assets. They’ll go to two major drugstore chains.
 
A Winn-Dixie pharmacy on the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout on Feb. 11, 2021, in Apollo Beach. Southeastern Grocers is selling off all of its pharmacy assets to CVS and Walgreens by the end of 2023 before Aldi acquires Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket.
A Winn-Dixie pharmacy on the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout on Feb. 11, 2021, in Apollo Beach. Southeastern Grocers is selling off all of its pharmacy assets to CVS and Walgreens by the end of 2023 before Aldi acquires Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Aug. 22, 2023|Updated Aug. 25, 2023

Last week, Southeastern Grocers announced it was shedding businesses and selling off Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets to Aldi, and Fresco y Más to an investment company.

But the Jacksonville-based grocery conglomerate didn’t name two other major retailers it also made deals with: CVS and Walgreens.

Southeastern Grocers told its pharmacists that it will sell all of its Winn-Dixie and Harveys pharmacy assets to both CVS and Walgreens by the end of the year, according to internal emails obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

“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,” confirmed Southeastern Grocers communication director Meredith Hurley in an email.

The pharmacies will “confidentially” transfer prescriptions and client files by the end of the year and customers will get advance notice, Hurley said.

Pharmacists and staff working inside the Winn-Dixie pharmacy during the first day of COVID-19 vaccination rollout on Feb. 11, 2021, in Apollo Beach. Winn-Dixie pharmacy assets are being sold to CVS and Walgreens.
Pharmacists and staff working inside the Winn-Dixie pharmacy during the first day of COVID-19 vaccination rollout on Feb. 11, 2021, in Apollo Beach. Winn-Dixie pharmacy assets are being sold to CVS and Walgreens. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

“While we do not have a definitive date at this time, we can assure you that nothing changes today,” Hurley said.

Aldi is set to acquire 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores, of which 75% are concentrated in Florida, greatly expanding its presence in the southeast. The Germany-based grocer will evaluate which locations will be converted into Aldi and which will remain under the original name of one of Florida’s top grocers, with nearly a century of history. The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

Southeastern Grocers is also selling its Hispanic and Caribbean brand Fresco y Más, with 28 stores and four pharmacies, to investment firm Fresco Retail Group LLC — which plans to operate them as they are.

But Aldi is not in the pharmacy business.

And with this deal, Winn-Dixie will be rid of its pharmacies before Aldi takes over. Aldi did not immediately respond to comment.

Aldi announced last week that it is in the process of acquiring Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket, potentially by the first half of 2024. But by then, all stores will have transferred their pharmacy assets to Walgreens or CVS.
Aldi announced last week that it is in the process of acquiring Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket, potentially by the first half of 2024. But by then, all stores will have transferred their pharmacy assets to Walgreens or CVS. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

“Walgreens is pleased to have reached an agreement with Southeastern Grocers to acquire pharmacy customer prescription files from and related pharmacy inventory for select Winn-Dixie and Harveys pharmacy locations in five states,” Walgreens spokesperson Fraser Engerman said in an email to the Times.

CVS Health spokesperson Amy Thibault also confirmed the deal in an email statement.

“Upon the expected completion of the transactions later this year, the acquired prescription records will be transferred to nearby CVS Pharmacy locations,” Thibault said.

The deal could mean that some Winn-Dixie pharmacists may need to find another job with the closure of pharmacies in the next few months.

Walgreens and CVS representatives both said they would interview and offer positions to Winn-Dixie and Harveys pharmacy employees. But they didn’t mention how many they would hire.

“We believe that there is great opportunity for our associates,” Southeastern Grocers told pharmacists in an internal email. “But we also understand you may still have questions about next steps for you should you not move forward with CVS.”