Three years after the national chain Rite Aid acquired Seattle-founded regional chain Bartell Drugs, it’s closing some Bartell stores. And employees of the White Center Bartell store (9600 15th SW) are telling customers theirs will soon be among them. We’ve heard from multiple readers who say they’ve been told in recent days that the store will close at the end of the month, and a visit to the store reveals many items on sale at deep discounts. We have inquired with both Rite Aid and Bartell corporate spokespeople via email and phone, but have yet to receive a reply or acknowledgment either confirming or denying. As we reported on partner site White Center Now, the White Center store’s building changed ownership a year and a half ago, purchased for $5.1 million by an LLC associated with a California electrical contractor (we have an inquiry out to the owner as well). King County permit records show nothing on file for the sizable site. When the 4th Avenue Bartell store in downtown Seattle closed in July, The Seattle Times reported that was the fifth Bartell closure in less than a year; since then, one more has been announced. All this is unfolding against a backdrop of financial challenges for parent company Rite Aid.
West Seattle, Washington