You are reading

Rite Aid Comes Under Fire by Queens Electeds for Abrupt Closure of Forest Hills Store

The Rite Aid store by the Forest Hills LIRR station is closing May 2 (GMaps)

April 27, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Rite Aid abruptly announced last week that it is closing its Forest Hills store May 2—and the company is now coming under fire from elected officials who say it has not provided its employees with enough notice.

Several elected officials penned a letter Wednesday to Rite Aid Chief Executive Officer Heyward Donigan criticizing the company for its sudden announcement that it plans to close its 71-14 Austin St. store.

The company informed workers about the closure on April 19 – providing them with only two weeks notice, the Forest Hills Post reported Monday. A spokesperson for Rite Aid confirmed the closure.

The manner in which the store is closing has drawn the ire of elected officials.

“We’re…concerned and must express our dismay at how the closing of a location in our local neighborhoods was reportedly handled,” the letter reads, citing the Forest Hills Post story which first reported the news.

“The handling of this closing would be completely unacceptable [if the reports are accurate]. We must speak on behalf of the employees and community members who are now being impacted.”

The letter was signed by Congress Member Grace Meng, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Council Member Lynn Schulman.

The elected officials asked Donigan how Rite Aid plans to look after its workers when the store closes. Around 20 employees reportedly work at the store and belong to a union.

“We request to know what is being done to ensure the employees’ immediate wellbeing, as well as what opportunities are being provided to help them secure future gainful employment,” the letter reads.

“These are employees who in some instances served our community for 5+ years receiving fewer than two weeks notice that they would now have to find new employment.”

A worker who spoke to the Forest Hills Post Monday said that Rite Aid was not providing suitable job alternatives for the workers at the store. However, Rite Aid said in a statement Monday that it is in the process of trying to secure alternative employment for its employees.

The company reiterated Wednesday that it is helping its employees when asked to comment on the letter.

“We make every effort to transfer associates to other Rite Aid locations where possible and at this location the majority of associates are relocating to other stores,” the company said in a statement.

The company also said that the notification it provided its employees and its customers was not disruptive.

“The decision to close a store is a difficult one, and our notification process takes into account the impact on our associates as well as customers who still need to access and refill their medications without disruption,” the statement reads.

email the author: [email protected]

4 Comments

Click for Comments 
Jim

These elected officials should have said something when shoplifting started to become rampant at this store, causing massive losses. Now it’s too late.

Reply
Sara Ross

Duane Reade closed on Continental Avenue and there’s a CVS by the train station on the North Side of Queens Blvd., but if you’re elderly and can’t walk far AND live close to Rite Aid, it’s another slap in the face to the neighborhood. Where are the politicians coming out to help these businesses and neighborhoods or do they only come out when it’s time to put their worthless fat butts back in office? Wait, I think I just answered my own question.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Op-ed: Protecting Forest Hills Stadium

Jun. 14, 2024 By Thomas Grech

After more than a decade since its rebirth, it is unfathomable to consider Forest Hills without our venerable 101-year-old Forest Hills Stadium. The iconic venue is an asset to our community in so many ways – from creating jobs, to supporting local organizations, to providing invaluable links to our community’s rich history. Amazingly, a small band of unrealists who fail to understand that communities are constructed on the mutual grace and respect of our neighbors, want to shut down Forest Hills Stadium for good.

Op-ed: Congestion pricing would do much more harm than good for New Yorkers

Jun. 11, 2024 By Assemblymember David I. Weprin

Like many residents throughout the five boroughs and across the New York Metro Area, I was pleasantly surprised by Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision to “indefinitely pause” the implementation of Congestion Pricing. Rather than seeing this as a cynical calculation, as some have alleged, I see the Governor’s decision as a deeply pragmatic response to the crescendo of public concerns that I and many others have raised for years. As the countdown to the June 30 implementation date neared, everyday New Yorkers did what we do best: we spoke up for ourselves and said we won’t accept a bad deal! I applaud Governor Hochul for having the courage not just to listen to us but to take a tough stand against this misguided policy.