Bartell's to be sold to Rite Aid
As the city of Seattle has seen many of it's original examples of traditions slip as the Emerald City has become a city that is more influenced from others
that aren't native to the city or the state, many of the cities origins disappear. This is the latest one.
Just a year after Washington statehood was declared, Bartell's, a local drug store chain was started that became a major regional drug store chain covering the Puget Sound area for 130 years.
In October, the company announced that it would sell to Rite Aid, a company who is teetering on bankruptcy itself for $95 million, a bargain since the Belltown store made $500 million.
Drug store mergers haven't done well for the area. When the Thrifty/Payless merger happened, many strip malls were empty as the result of closures that
happened from Pay N Save locations (a major former local drug store chain acquired by Thrifty in the mid 1980's) being shut down.
What does this say about Seattle?
This year as Macy's has shut down the former Bon Marche flagship store on 4th and Pike(in the background of this photo). With the property being acquired by Amazon shows that many of the traditions of Downtown Seattle are slipping over time. While Macy's hung onto some of the Seattle traditions such as the holiday star and even Frango's (owned by former Seattle department store Frederick and Nelson) Amazon intends to keep the star up during the holidays.
As Seattle has been the focus of nasty protests that have hurt the city with closures of stores (including Rite Aid and Bartell's) due to vandalism and looting, perhaps Bartell's saw the future of the city and didn't like it.
Seattle of the 1990's was great with the growth of IT businesses and world attention from the Goodwill Games and Grunge music, the WTO showed what the
city would become, a city of violence and anarchy. Something I witnessed when taking service calls as the violence unfolded.
While the tearing down of the viaduct has helped in the visual appeal of the city, the ugliness still reigns on the inside.
Perhaps Bartell's has done a good job of showing this city's leadership the realities of it.