Bi-Mart announces pharmacy closures
Bi-Mart announced this week that it is closing its pharmacy departments at all its Portland-metro area stores.
The closure will affect the Woodburn Bi-Mart where the pharmacy will be officially closed beginning Tuesday, Nov. 12.
A press release issued by Bi-Mart's Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Don Leber indicated that a glutted market, tax considerations and complications with health-care plans were some of the factors in the decision.
"This difficult choice reflects today's challenging pharmacy landscape," the release stated. "Factors that led to this decision include: growing number of pharmacies in the Portland metro market over the past few years; rising fees on Medicare part D prescriptions by pharmacy benefit managers; restricted access to healthcare plans; and the further pressure of the Oregon Corporate Activity Tax that goes into effect on January 1, 2020 will put on pharmacy operations.
"Despite the great work by the pharmacy staff at our Portland area stores, these conditions have tilted the field to where these pharmacies are unable to operate profitably."
Walgreens® will acquire prescription files from 13 Bi-Mart pharmacy locations and will transfer files to nearby Walgreens locations.
Leber said that employees affected by the closures will be offered positions in other departments or locations where possible. Those who cannot be placed elsewhere will qualify for a severance package.
"All Portland area Bi-Mart stores will remain open and continue to serve the needs of our members in all other departments," Leber noted.
The stores affected by this change are:
Aloha (Beaverton), Damascus, Gresham, Halsey (Portland), Hillsboro, Molalla, Newberg, Oregon City, Sandy, Tigard, Washougal, Woodburn, Woodstock (Portland).
"Our employee owners remain committed to making our Portland area Bi-Mart locations the best they can be and we look forward to being a part of the Portland community for years to come," Leber imparted. "The pharmacy department is a small part of our overall business in the Portland area, so this decision will allow us to focus on our core business and to continue to provide value to our members."
Bi-Mart currently has 79 stores across Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Store officials said the company currently has plans for further growth in the Pacific Northwest. It recently opened a store in Port Orchard, WA, and 3 new stores in the Boise area, and work has begun on another Bi-Mart in Rathdrum, Idaho.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.