Bartell Drugs, a local, family-owned business for 130 years, to be sold to Rite Aid for $95 million

After months of pandemic-related financial strain and years of uncertainty over its future, Bartell Drugs, one of the oldest companies in Washington state and one of the most familiar names in the Seattle business community, is being sold.

The 67-store regional drugstore chain, which has been owned by the same family since its founding in Seattle’s Central District in 1890, will be acquired by Rite Aid for $95 million, the companies announced Wednesday. 

“We felt that this was the only answer,” said George D. Bartell, co-owner and chairman of the company his grandfather, George H. Bartell Sr., founded 130 years ago. “It was getting more difficult for regional operators to compete in the market.”

Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid, which has about 2,500 stores in 19 states, including 69 in and around Seattle, will keep the Bartell name on the stores. It disclosed no plans to close stores or cut any of

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