Walgreens has acquired employee-owned Bi-Mart’s pharmacy operations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, starting next month, the company announced Thursday.

The inventory and patient files at 56 Bi-Mart pharmacies, including the location in Bend on NE Second Street and on Odem Medo Way in Redmond, will begin to be transferred over to Walgreens, according to a company statement.

The transfer is expected to be completed by January. Bi-Mart pharmacy employees will have the opportunity to apply for available positions at Walgreens, the statement said.

In Oregon’s rural areas where there isn’t a Walgreens store, the retailer will operate inside the Bi-Mart location.

Since 2019, Bi-Mart has been closing pharmacies and transitioning patient records in the Portland metro-area to Walgreen pharmacies, citing a glut in the pharmacy market, tax considerations and complications with health care plans as reasons for closing.

“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,” Rich Truett, Bi-Mart president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Bi-Mart’s core business is healthy and strong, however, over the years factors such as increasing costs and ongoing reimbursement pressures has led in part to our decision.”

The publicly traded Walgreens operates 9,000 locations across the country, including 70 Oregon sites, according to the statement. Patients will be notified by mail about the transition.

Eugene-based Bi-Mart opened its first store in Yakima, Washington, in 1955. The membership grocery chain has 80 stores throughout the Northwest. It employs 3,500 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and is employee-owned since 2004.

Former Bi-Mart pharmacy customers will be able to access health screenings and immunizations once the records are transferred.

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Reporter: 541-633-2117, sroig@bendbulletin.com

(2) comments

supercube

That is awful news for Bimart pharmacy customers.

SueG

I agree, they already have a problem trying to serve customers. I switched to another pharmacy.

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