Walgreens to Shutter Significant Portion of Underperforming US Stores

Walgreens to Shutter Significant Portion of Underperforming US Stores
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Wal­greens, one of the largest phar­ma­cy chains in the Unit­ed States, has announced plans to close a “sig­nif­i­cant por­tion” of its under­per­form­ing stores over the next three years.

The news comes from Wal­greens CEO Tim Went­worth, who revealed on a con­fer­ence call with indus­try ana­lysts that around 25% of the com­pa­ny’s 8,500 US stores are cur­rent­ly “under­per­form­ing.”

Went­worth stat­ed that Wal­greens will close a “sig­nif­i­cant por­tion” of these strug­gling loca­tions, though the exact num­ber is still being finalized.

The deci­sion is part of a wider strate­gic review the com­pa­ny has under­tak­en in response to declin­ing con­sumer spend­ing and adverse changes with­in the phar­ma­cy industry. 

Went­worth cit­ed fac­tors such as price-con­scious cus­tomers and chal­leng­ing reim­burse­ment rates from phar­ma­cy ben­e­fit man­agers (PBMs) as con­tribut­ing to the com­pa­ny’s recent struggles.

To address these chal­lenges, Wal­greens will not only shut­ter a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of under­per­form­ing stores, but will also work to revi­tal­ize the remain­ing strug­gling loca­tions. Went­worth warned that stores that fail to improve will con­tin­ue to be con­sid­ered for closure.

Despite the store clo­sures, Went­worth expressed opti­mism about the future of Wal­greens, stat­ing his belief in the endur­ing impor­tance of “human-to-human inter­ac­tion” in health­care. The com­pa­ny plans to min­i­mize lay­offs by rede­ploy­ing the major­i­ty of the work­force from closed stores.

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