PEPPERELL -- A trip to the town's Rite Aid may seem typical until you take a closer look.

There's the "W" on employee's uniforms and the "Walgreen's pharmacy" sign at the back of the store.

The Pepperell Rite Aid is among nearly 2,000 stores nationwide that will eventually become Walgreens stores.

Rite Aid transferred ownership of stores in Pepperell, Townsend, and around the Lowell area to Walgreens in January, said Jim Graham, a Walgreens spokesman.

The company anticipates stores purchases nationwide to be complete by the spring, Graham said. Stores bought from Rite Aid will be brought under the Walgreens brand in phases over three years, he said.

In some cases, store transition has already begun. Employees from Rite Aids -- including Pepperell's -- under Walgreens ownership are now Walgreens employees, Graham said.

Signs posted outside the Pepperell store say the pharmacy is now a Walgreens. At the checkout counter, brochures state "This Rite Aid will become Walgreens" and answers questions about how the transition will affect the store and their prescriptions.

"We are keeping (the stores) informed at every step as this transition occurs so we can work together to make sure the transition (is) as smooth for all concerned, team members and customers alike," Graham wrote in an email.

Jim Waite, 64, lives in town and has been coming to the Rite Aid for about five years. On a Wednesday afternoon he stopped in to buy a few items.


He wasn't aware about the drug store changing hands. As long as he can get what he needs, Waite said he isn't concerned.

Graham said customers don't have to transfer their prescriptions to Walgreens, and they can continue to refill them at Rite Aid.

Pepperell Family Pharmacy is the other other pharmacy in town.

Owner Tracie Ezzio said over the past few weeks there has been an influx of people coming into her pharmacy with Rite Aid bottles who want to switch where they receive their prescriptions.

She said a more personalized service and cost are generally the reason why people come from other pharmacies to hers.