CVS Health Corp. announced Thursday that it will close 900 stores over the next three years, or about 10 percent of its locations in the United States, as it shifts to adding more primary-care offices at different sites.
“The company has been evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business,” CVS said in a statement about the change.
It means, according to the firm, that about 300 stores will be closed each year for the next three years. The changes will start in the spring of next year, CVS added.
“The company is committed to offering impacted colleagues roles in other locations or different opportunities as part of its overall workforce strategy,” the announcement read.
The drug store chain didn’t elaborate on how many jobs could be impacted by the decision. The closures will cost the firm approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, it continued to say.
Also unclear is exactly which CVS locations would shut down. The Epoch Times has contacted the firm for comment.
“Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company,” Karen Lynch, President and CEO of CVS Health, wrote in the press release. “We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, wrote in a research note on Thursday that the decision “seems odd” because CVS’s competitors are attempting to set up more brick-and-mortar operations.
“Today the retail side of CVS’s business is shabby,” Saunders said. “Too many stores are stuck in the past with bad lighting, depressing interiors, messy merchandising, and a weak assortment of products.”
He added that CVS locations “are not destinations or places where people go out of anything other than necessity.”
The company, Saunders continued, will need to invest in its retail locations and healthcare services.
Over the past several months, both CVS and rival Walgreens have played a key role in the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. CVS this month also announced it would offer children between the ages of 5 and 11 the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) emergency approval of the shot.
In September, CVS announced it would hire 25,000 people during a one-day event in a bid to deal with the rollout of COVID-19 booster does as well as flu shots.
“In addition to flu vaccinations, the accelerated hiring campaign will aid the company in administering COVID-19 booster shots, pending regulatory approval, while continuing to offer shots to those who have yet to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and patients seeking testing at CVS Pharmacy locations across the country,” the firm said at the time.