Rite Aid liquor store set to close

Rite Aid Discount Liquors in the Stateway Plaza will close in early February. Marcus Wolf/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Rite Aid Discount Liquors in the Stateway Plaza, which has sold bottles of wine, whiskey, rum and vodka for decades under different names, will close its doors in early February.

General Manager Brian LaClair deferred comment to the store owner, Walgreens Boots Alliance. Alexandra Brown, communications manager at Walgreens, said the company has “no information to share at this time.”

A goodbye letter from Mr. LaClair to store customers was taped on one of the doors into the liquor store, 1222 Arsenal St.

“My staff and I would like to THANK YOU for your years of patronage,” the letter reads. “It has been an honor to serve you and the north country for 30+ years starting with Fay’s Drugs.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance, which owns the Walgreens, Duane Reade and Boots and Alliance Healthcare pharmacy chains, acquired the liquor store and several Rite Aid locations across the north country in a $4 billion purchase of 1,932 stores in 2017. The company’s purchase included stores in Watertown, Carthage, Ogdensburg, Malone, Tupper Lake, Pulaski and Oswego.

Two Rite Aid pharmacies in Watertown and one in Malone, however, closed in June of 2018, several months after the acquisition.

Fay’s Inc. originally owned and managed the liquor store alongside its drug store chain until Eckerd Corp. acquired Fay’s in 1996. Rite Aid acquired all Eckerd stores, including the liquor store, in 2007. Rite Aid closed the Stateway Plaza pharmacy in 2010, but Rite Aid Discount Liquors next door stayed opened for several years afterward.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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