Rite Aid facility closure impacts hundreds

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Hundreds of Upstate workers will have to find a new job.

Rite Aid has announced its distribution center in Spartanburg County is closing.

“I hate to see any facility close, particularly one where a company is so well known,” Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said. “When we recruited Rite Aid here the whole team came together Johnson development m, the state – secretary hitt – the county.”

The $90 million project was completed in June 2016, creating more than 600 jobs.

“There actually weren’t a lot of tax incentives because it was distribution facility and the ownership traded hands. Initially it was Johnson Development who was a great local partner. We worked with them [on] a lot of road infrastructure that’s still helping that 1500 acres in that industrial park,” Britt said. “That facility just didn’t get a lot [of tax incentives] because we’re really working with the state on job tax credits coming through the state and they’re all performance based.”

Three years later, the facility near the Cherokee Springs area of Spartanburg County is closing after Walgreens purchased three distribution centers along with almost 2,000 Rite Aid stores in 2017.

“We’ve been a little nervous about the acquisition and the merger since it happened because there’s a lot of redundancies when companies buy other companies,” Britt said.

A spokesperson for Rite Aid said they decided to close the facility so Walgreens can operate a more focused network of distribution centers.

“We are committed to working with Walgreens to support associates and assist them in finding new employment opportunities in the best possible way,” Rite Aid Public Relations Director Chris Savarese said.

Britt said there are more opportunities for employment for the Rite Aid workers in Spartanburg County.

“Those associates are desperately needed all over Spartanburg,” said Britt, adding that there is more of an employee shortage than a job shortage in Spartanburg County. “This is a double edged sword. We hate to see Walgreens move but on the other side this helps us fill a lot of the jobs that are open right now.”

SC Works Upstate is one avenue for finding new job opportunities.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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