U.S. Pharmacy Chain CVS to Close 900 Drugstores to Expand Digital and Health Services
U.S. pharmacy chain CVS is eyeing to close 900 of its drugstores over the next three years to ramp up their in-person health services and expand their digital services.
The planned 900 stores for closure represent around a tenth of its outlet, according to a BBC News report.
The drugstore chain has also played a key role in the distribution of the COVID vaccines, especially in the U.S., with more than 9,900 store locations across the country.
CVS said it would start closing stores in the spring of 2022, with plans to close 300 branches a year for the next three years. However, it has not yet identified which shops will close. With its remaining sites, it will expand its health hubs that offer treatments for everyday health problems.
The drugstore chain is also planning to offer chronic care for its patrons.
CVS's chief executive Karen Lynch said that their retail stores are fundamental to the company's strategy, as well as represent who they are as a company.
A spokesman for the company said that they do not expect CVS pharmacies in Target stores to be affected.
CVS Drugstores Closure
Lynch noted that the company remains focused on the competitive advantage provided by their services in thousands of communities in the United States, adding that it complements the pharmacy's rapidly growing digital presence, according to The New York Times report.
Some of its stores will offer primary care services, while some will have broader health care service offerings, such as treatment for diabetes. The company noted that it will also retain prescription services and health products.
Ted Rossman, a senior analyst at Bankrate.com, said that hybrid models really took off during the pandemic, such as rapid delivery services and buy-online/pick-up in-store options.
GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders described CVS's decision as "odd" due to some of the rival companies eyeing to open store locations at the moment, according to a CBS News report.
Saunders said that the retail side of CVS's business is "shabby," adding that too many stores are stuck in the past with bad lighting.
He said that it was not a place where people go out of anything other than necessity.
He further described CVS stores as a place with "depressing interiors," "messy merchandising," and "weak assortment of products."
Saunders said that Target, Walmart, Ulta Beauty, and Sephora have stolen some of CVS's business away.
He noted that more shoppers go to those retailers' stores for makeup, lotion, and cold medication instead, according to a CNBC report.
The company has created a new role, chief pharmacy officer, which will be given to Prem Shah. Sha and Michelle Peluso, who is the chief customer officer, will become co-presidents and will lead the two parts of the company's retail business. Both will be reporting to Lynch, who became the top leadership of the company in February.
Meanwhile, the president of CVS Retail/Pharmacy, Neela Montgomery, is set to leave the company at the end of 2021.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by Mary Webber
WATCH: CVS Announces It Is Closing 900 Stores Over The Next 3 Years - from CBS Boston
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