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Save Mart closing pharmacies, moving those in-store services to Walgreens

The move comes months after the Modesto grocery chain was bought by a private equity firm.

MODESTO, Calif. — Save Mart Companies has announced that all pharmacies at Save Mart and Lucky stores will move to Walgreens.

In a statement to ABC10, Save Mart officials said that pharmacy staff members will work with patients to conveniently transition services to Walgreens.

"We value our Pharmacy staff and the service they have provided to our patients. Walgreens expressed great interest in hiring and has the intention to hire as many of our Pharmacy associates as possible, which will enable our patients to continue being served by our associates," the statement said. "We remain committed to serving our local communities in health and wellness for all their grocery needs as well as further developing our innovative technologies and tools that enhance the lives of our associates, customers, and communities we serve."

Company officials have not released additional information on the transition of services including when the transition will begin and how many pharmacists are employed by Save Mart.

In a notice issued to members, officials with UFCW-8 (United Food and Commercial Workers), the union that represents Save Mart employees, encouraged members to promptly transfer their family's prescriptions to Albertsons, Bel Air, Rite Aid, Safeway or Vons pharmacies.

"We have reached out to the company to discuss how their decision impacts our members," the notice says. "We have been in contact with Union companies to help facilitate hiring members working in the closing pharmacies. We will reach out directly to members in the coming days with additional information about hiring opportunities at other Union pharmacy locations."

In a statement to ABC10, UFCW-8 President Jacques Loveall said not all pharmacies will closed at the same time, and that they stand with the impacted workers.

“UFCW 8-Golden State stands by our affected members in this tough time. We understand this is stressful for members who work in the Save Mart pharmacies and we are working closely with the company to ensure they will have opportunities to work at other Union stores in our jurisdiction. Our goal is to retain their seniority, as well as wages and benefits,” Loveall said.

In March, Save Mart announced that after 70 years as an independent company headquartered out of Modesto, it had been acquired by Kingswood Capital Management LP

Kingswood is a private equity firm from Los Angeles.

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