Stores in state to close Shutdowns will mean 390 layoffs

13 F&M

5 outlets sold off to stay open

November 17, 1995|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,SUN STAFF

Thirteen Maryland F&M Super Drug Stores will close within three months as part of the liquidation of the entire F&M chain, the company's chief financial officer, Laura Kendall, said yesterday.

The closures will mean about 390 layoffs and major liquidation sales, Ms. Kendall said.

Five other F&M stores in Maryland -- which have been sold to the Drug Emporium chain -- will operate without interruption and are expected to continue using the F&M name for an indefinite period, said Timothy C. McCord, chief financial officer of Powell, Ohio-based Drug Emporium Inc.

Customers at all five of the Maryland F&M stores can expect to see lower prices under the new ownership, Mr. McCord said, noting that prices should fall 5 percent to 10 percent.

When Drug Emporium announced Oct. 23 that it had purchased five F&M stores in Maryland, it said that one of the stores -- which was not identified -- likely would close.

But yesterday, Mr. McCord said the company now is likely to keep open all five of the Maryland stores that it has purchased in Dundalk, Towson, Bel Air, Glen Burnie and on Baltimore National Pike in Baltimore County.

The 13 Maryland F&M stores that will close are in Waldorf, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Lanham, Randallstown, Annapolis, Frederick, Largo, Columbia, Greenbelt, Owings Mills, Laurel and West 29th Street in Baltimore.

The employees at all 13 of the F&M stores in Maryland that are closing will be allowed to work through completion of the liquidation sales, which started this week and are expected to run for about 90 days, Ms. Kendall said.

She said none of the employees who work at the stores that are closing will get severance pay. The employees number, on average, about 30 per store, she said.

F&M Distributors Inc., based in Warren, Mich., said yesterday it will close its last 34 drugstores and file with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to liquidate its business.

Ms. Kendall noted that F&M does not own the buildings, but typically holds 10- to 20-year leases on its stores. Drug Emporium has bought the remaining lease rights on the stores, she said.

At the closing stores, the merchandise has been sold to a liquidation firm, Jubilee Partnership, Ms. Kendall said. Discounts the merchandise -- which includes health, beauty and cleaning supplies -- are being determined by Jubilee, Ms. Kendall said.

The files on customers' prescriptions at the closing F&M stores in Maryland have been transferred to the CVS drugstore chain. Consumers who need refills of prescriptions that originally were filled by F&M should call those stores for recorded information to find out which CVS store has their prescription files, Ms. Kendall said.

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