NATIONAL NEWS

CVS Health to close hundreds of drugstores over next 3 years

Nov 21, 2021, 11:34 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 4:47 pm

The CVS logo is displayed outside a CVS store on November 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. CVS ...

The CVS logo is displayed outside a CVS store on November 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. CVS Health is closing 900 stores nationwide over the next three years in response to ‘changing buying patterns’ while employees whose stores close will be offered employment at nearby locations. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CVS Health will close hundreds of drugstores over the next three years, as the health care giant adjusts to changing customer needs and converts to new store formats.

The company said Thursday that it will close about 300 stores a year for the next three years, nearly a tenth of its roughly 10,000 retail locations as it reduces store count density in some places.

CVS Health said it has been evaluating population changes, customer buying patterns and future health needs to “ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations.”

The company also has been expanding the health care services it provides at many locations.

The closings make sense as CVS Health seeks to remake many stores into more of a “one-stop shop” for care, Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans said, adding that the company’s Aetna health insurance business should steer customers to those stores.

The company released no details Thursday on where the closings will occur. It did say they would start next spring.

Major drugstore chains routinely close underperforming stores or shutter locations for other business needs. CVS rival Walgreens, for instance, has closed several stores in San Francisco since 2019 due partly to problems with organized retail theft.

The growth of online shopping has blunted the need for CVS and Walgreens to operate a vast network of drugstores that are just a few minutes’ drive from most American homes.

CVS Health also has neglected its retail business and pushed some of its locations “into the downward spiral of irrelevance,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said in an email.

“Too many stores are stuck in the past with bad lighting, depressing interiors, messy merchandising, and a weak assortment of products,” Saunders said in an email. “They are not destinations or places where people go out of anything other than necessity.”

CVS Health said Thursday its stores will be grouped into three models.

Some will be traditional pharmacies that offer retail products as well as some health care services. Others will be dedicated to customer primary care, and the company will break out an enhanced version of its “HealthHUB” locations.

The company started introducing those stores a few years ago. The stores are geared toward helping customers monitor chronic conditions like diabetes and stay on top of their health. Those locations can include health care workers like dietitians as well as community rooms for things like yoga classes.

Drugstores have been redesigning their locations as they try to become known as more than just places to pick up prescriptions and cough syrup. They have become a key source of COVID-19 vaccines as well as annual flu shots.

The companies have dealt with staffing issues as they widen their focus. They’ve raised starting pay and hired thousands of additional workers for their stores.

But customers in markets like Kansas City and Indianapolis have complained recently to local newspapers about long waits or problems getting vaccinations at some Walgreens stores because of closed pharmacies.

A Walgreens spokesman said the company is always reviewing staffing levels and trying to minimize disruption to customers when a staffing shortages affect stores.

CVS Health said Thursday that it expects to take an impairment charge of between $1 billion and $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter for the closures. That charge won’t affect the company’s 2021 adjusted earnings forecast, which it raised earlier this month.

The company also said it will have an immaterial impact on adjusted earnings per share next year.

Aside from operating drugstores and selling health insurance, CVS Health also runs prescription drug plans for big clients like insurers and employers.

Shares of Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health Corp. rose 3% to $95.55 Thursday afternoon while broader trading indexes were nearly flat.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

(File photo)...

Jonel Aleccia AP Health Writer

Bird flu is spreading to more farm animals. Are milk and eggs safe?

A bird flu outbreak in U.S. dairy cows has grown to affect more than two dozen herds in eight states, just weeks after the nation's largest egg producer found the virus in its chickens.

32 minutes ago

A protestor holds a sign reading 'My Body My Choice' at a Women's March rally where Arizona Secreta...

Steve Peoples and Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

A near-total ban on abortion has supercharged the political dynamics of Arizona, a key swing state

Arizona was already expected to be one of the most closely contested states in November's U.S. presidential election. But a ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged the state's role, transforming it into perhaps the nation's most critical battleground.

1 hour ago

Manuel Rocha sitting at a desk smiling...

Denise Royal, Carlos Suarez and Ray Sanchez, CNN

Former US diplomat sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to spying for Cuba

Manuel Rocha, the former US ambassador to Bolivia who acted as a secret foreign agent of Cuba, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges Friday

15 hours ago

The Google sign is shown over an entrance to the company's new building in New York on Wednesday, S...

Adam Beam and Tran Nguyen, Associated Press

In threat to legislature, Google removes news sites from searches

In an acting threat against the California legislature, Google began removing California news websites from searches on Friday.

15 hours ago

FILE - Border Patrol station in Harlingen, Texas. (David Pike/Valley Morning Star via AP, File)Cred...

Associated Press

Amid increased enforcement in Mexico, US Border arrests fall

Arrests for illegally crossing the US border fell by 2.3% from February to March.

16 hours ago

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, listens as his attorne...

Alanna Durkin Richer and Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Judge rules Hunter Biden gun case will move forward, rejects political motivation

A Delaware federal judge refused to dismiss a case against Hunter Biden, rejecting claims about its political motivation.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

CVS Health to close hundreds of drugstores over next 3 years