Rite Aid has announced that its CEO, Martin Grass, has resigned, amidst charges that the company has overstated its profits by nearly $300 million in the past several years. Last month, the company, which has raised the ire of dozens of communities by locating stores in inappropriate places, gave pink slips to 330 of its workers. According to Knight Ridder news, Rite Aid is being sued for “racketeering and civil theft” in Florida by the Attorney General, who says the convenience/drug store chain has been violating that state’s deceptive and unfair trade practices act by overcharging customers for prescriptions. Over the past year, Rite Aid stock has gone the wrong way, losing 80% of its value compared to the start of 1999. “Rite Aid, Wrong Town” has been a frequent battle cry in communities across the nation who have fought the company’s efforts to push its stores in neighborhoods that opposed them.
Rite Aid is counting on an infusion of money from Los Angeles buyout expert Leonard Green to rescue the company from its debt problems. Rite Aid says it is the third largest “drug” store chain the nation. It’s “1 acre, corner lot, 12,000 s.f. store” format has become a well-known nemesis in small towns. For further information on Rite Aid battles, scroll through related entries in this newsflash section.