CVS Is Closing 900 Stores

Many of the surviving locations will offer more health services, company says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2021 4:09 AM CST
CVS Is Closing 900 Stores
Vehicles are parked in front of a CVS Pharmacy in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Monday May 3, 2021.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

America's biggest pharmacy chain is planning to close stores at the rate of almost one a day over the next three years. CVS announced Thursday that it plans to close around 900 of its approximately 10,000 US locations over the next three years and improve health services at many of the remaining stores, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company says it doesn't have a list of the locations that will be closing yet, but it has been working to ensure it has the "right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business."

Rivals Walgreens and Walmart have also been expanding primary care services at many locations, Forbes notes. CVS and its rivals have been struggling with staff shortages, and the company says it aims to find jobs at different locations for employees affected by the closures. CVS, which has played a major role in the COVID vaccination campaign, hired almost 20,000 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses in the most recent quarter, per the Journal.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, said while the decision to close stores when rivals are planning to open more might seem odd, the retail side of the company's business is "shabby" and badly in need of an upgrade. "Too many stores are stuck in the past with bad lighting, depressing interiors, messy merchandising and a weak assortment of products," Saunders said Thursday, per CBS. "They are not destinations or places where people go out of anything other than necessity." The company's share price rose 2.8% after it disclosed its plans Thursday. (Read more CVS stories.)

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