As CVS says it will close 900 stores, there are THREE more major pharmacy chains closing locations and limiting hours
Drugstore chain CVS is set to close hundreds of stores in the US as it undergoes a major overhaul to adapt to the needs of modern online shoppers.
The retail giant is nearing the end of a policy launched in 2021 that will see 300 stores closed each year – meaning 900 will be closed by 2024.
In the announcement, which recently made headlines again amid rampant shoplifting at the store, bosses said they were undertaking a new ‘retail footprint strategy’.
But CVS isn’t the only major pharmacy chain making changes to its stores.
Walgreens has announced it will close locations, while Walmart is reportedly cutting hours for thousands of its pharmacists in an effort to reduce costs. Rite Aid has also announced store closures amid reports that the company is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Walgreens announced it will close 150 stores nationwide by the end of August 2024
Earlier this year, Walgreens announced it would close 150 locations across the country due to subdued consumer spending.
The pharmacy chain reported lower profits in June compared to the same period last year: from $289 million to $118 million.
Chief Financial Officer James Kehoe said the store closures were part of a cost-cutting effort, with the company aiming to save $3.3 billion by the end of this year and a further $800 million by the end of 2024.
While the company did not specify which of the 9,000 U.S. stores would close, it said it expected to close the locations before the end of August next year.
Rite Aid is reportedly preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would mean widespread closures
Rite Aid announced earlier this month that it would close two more stores, following the closure of 25 stores earlier this year — amid reports the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy.
According to The Wall Street JournalThe company is negotiating with creditors the terms of a plan that would include the liquidation of a significant portion of its more than 2,100 drugstores nationwide.
People familiar with the discussions reportedly told the company that the company has proposed closing as many as 500 bankrupt stores and selling or allowing creditors to take over the remaining operations.
The Philadelphia-based company is facing debts of more than $3.3 billion and more than a thousand federal lawsuits over its alleged role in the opioid epidemic.
In June, Rite Aid predicted it will generate “approximately $650 million to $680 million” in losses next year.
Matthew Schroeder, Rite Aid’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, said, “We continually look at the performance of stores, especially those that are under lease, and determine whether we have an opportunity to improve profitability and efficiency. continue to maximize fleet.
“I would expect us to continue to do that.”
Walmart shortened pharmacy hours at thousands of locations earlier this year
The chain has reportedly asked some of its 16,000 pharmacists in the US to voluntarily take pay cuts by reducing their hours in an effort to reduce costs.
For example, a pharmacist could move from an 80-hour, two-week pay period to a 64 or 72-hour pay period. Reuters reported. The cuts would be aimed at pharmacists in higher pay scales.
The retail giant has also agreed to pay $3.1 billion as its share of an opioid-related legal settlement, which will further increase legal costs this year.
Walmart confirmed to Reuters in August that it was reducing the number of hours it offered to some pharmacists, citing a drop in drug demand over the summer and requests from pharmacists for better work-life balance.
Earlier this year, the company also reduced its pharmacy hours by two hours at more than 4,500 locations, amid a pharmacist shortage that began during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Walmart has also closed at least eight stores in the US this year.