Walgreens to Close 200 Pharmacies Across the US
Walgreens announced plans to close 200 stores in the U.S. on Tuesday, reports CNBC. This comes after parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance announced plans to review its U.S footprint and close 200 U.K. stores earlier this year. The pharmacy operates roughly 10,000 locations nationwide, and closures will affect less than 3 percent of its current stores. Walgreens has not released details about which store locations are set to close or when they will shutter. The closures are part of the company's efforts to cut expenses in what it's calling a "transformational cost management program" with goals to save $1.5 billion by 2022.
Total Retail's Take: As more shopping for medicine and essentials occurs online, there's less need for pharmacies on seemingly every street corner across the U.S. Walgreens and parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance are trying to stay ahead of the curve in potential losses from reduced foot traffic by closing select stores before they turn unprofitable. This move is strategic, allowing the pharmacy to invest those savings into technology systems and other key areas targeted for growth. However, despite the announced closures, Walgreens is still betting heavily on its brick-and-mortar stores to be a growth driver. Walgreens purchased nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores and launched its Walgreens Express next-day prescription delivery service partnership with FedEx in 2018, signifying that it remains committed to brick-and-mortar retail.