Ritzman Pharmacies Inc. has wrapped up its acquisition of Buehler Food Markets Inc.'s in-store pharmacies.

Ritzman Pharmacies, Buehler Food Markets, in-store pharmacies, retail pharmacy, drug store, supermarket, Jerry Ritzman, Bob Buehler

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Ritzman opens doors in Buehler's stores

October 3rd, 2011

WADSWORTH, Ohio – Ritzman Pharmacies Inc. has wrapped up its acquisition of Buehler Food Markets Inc.'s in-store pharmacies.

The Ohio-based drug store chain said Monday that it has completed the transition of all Buehler's pharmacies to Ritzman Pharmacies, which have now opened their doors in the supermarkets.

With the agreement, Ritzman now owns and operates all 11 Buehler's pharmacies. Exploration of a possible pharmacy deal began about 18 months ago, and the two retailers announced in July that they were in negotiations.

In addition to its nine drug stores, Ritzman will now operate 20 retail pharmacy locations in northeastern and central Ohio.

"This is an exciting time for Ritzman Pharmacies. We are looking forward to delivering service beyond the commonplace and exceeding customers' expectations," Jerry Ritzman, vice president of pharmacy practices at Ritzman Pharmacies, said in a statement.

Former Buehler's prescription customers will see no changes in how they get their prescriptions filled, and pharmacy hours will remain the same.

"The transition to Ritzman Pharmacy will, for the most part, be seamless to our customers. They will see the same faces and receive the same outstanding service they have come to expect from our pharmacies," stated Bob Buehler, vice president of marketing at Wooster, Ohio-based Buehler's, which has 13 supermarkets overall, 11 with pharmacies. The retailer had offered full-service pharmacy services since 1979.

In discussing the deal, Buehler noted that both businesses are family-owned and have similar views on customer service. "The two companies just meshed, and it made a lot of sense. We can concentrate on the grocery business, and they can concentrate on the pharmacy business.

Buehler indicated that Ritzman's operation of the pharmacies will bolster customer care and expand pharmacy services. For example, Ritzman has its own line of homeopathic products, which Buehler pharmacies lack. The added locations for Ritzman also stand to improve bulk buying power.

Besides its drug stores, Ritzman also operates a prepacked medication division, Ritzman Med-Dose Services along with a home infusion service.