Editor’s Note: What Wakefern's pharmacy closures tell us

ShopRite’s surprise decision to close 62 pharmacies on Tuesday could be a harbinger of things to come.

The bottom line is that it appears that the chain’s top brass did not see a way forward in terms running profitable pharmacies in light of increasing competition and higher costs, especially for the professionals behind the counter. ShopRite, part of the Wakefern Foods Corp. cooperative, has apparently reached a deal with CVS to move its pharmacy customers there.

Expect more announcement like this from other supermarket chains. While the pharmacy is an important part of the supermarket, it is becoming clear across the country that some food retailers no longer think it makes financial sense to be in the business.

Good news for the three big national drug store chains, Walmart and Target, for sure. But, perhaps, also a warning sign to pharmacists that some major retailers can no longer afford to operate pharmacy counters. That might mean, down the road, the need for fewer pharmacists at retail.

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