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Walgreens To Buy NC's Kerr Drugstores

Kerr Drug

The largest drugstore chain in the United States is buying out North Carolina-based Kerr Drug.

The banner on the Kerr Drug website says it’s North Carolina’s only hometown pharmacy.  But after more than 60 years, Kerr Drug is losing that designation. Walgreens announced today it’s acquiring Kerr’s drugstores and its specialty pharmacy business that fills prescriptions for chronic, complex treatments like cancer.

Michael Polzin is a spokesman for Walgreens, based in Illinois.

“As we look at North Carolina, it’s a growing market.  And there’s also many more retirees that are always moving there," said Polzin.  So it’s a very attractive market for us and one that we would like to have a larger presence in.”

Polzin says Walgreens has not released any financial details of the acquisition.  There are 76 Kerr drugstores across the state and 200 Walgreens.  There are more than 8,000 Walgreens stores nationwide.  The number two U.S. drugstore chain is CVS Caremark Corporation with 7,500 stores.  Rite Aid is third.

In a statement, Kerr Chairman, President and CEO Anthony Civello said, " Kerr Drugs's strategy and core principles have always focused on its unique ability to provide patients access to the most comprehensive and convenient health and wellness offering in the country. "

"Walgreens is the perfect partner to continue this journey as a patient-oriented company dedicated to expanding the role of the pharmacist as an integral part of health care," said Civello.

Kerr Drug was founded by pharmacist Banks Kerr in 1951.  The company is headquartered in Raleigh

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
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