CVS Health runs one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the United States. Your town probably has one or two of them. They’re usually a stone’s throw away from Walgreens, their biggest competitors. Right now, customers can choose one of these convenient locations and pick up their prescriptions, buy a few snacks, get treats for the kids, and get vaccinated. However, the pharmacy chain plans to cut down on the number of brick and mortar stores in the coming years.
According to The New York Post, the company announced on Thursday that it would shutter hundreds of stores over the next three years. According to the announcement, CVS will close about 300 stores per year. This will cut out nearly ten percent of their physical shops. Currently, the pharmacy giant has somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 stores to serve its customers.
As of right now, CVS has not confirmed which stores will be closing. However, it would be safe to assume that they would close those locations that are doing less business than their surrounding locations.
CVS Health did, however, say how their stores would be structured in the future. The plan is to have three types of store locations. The first is what many people are used to seeing, a traditional pharmacy with a handful of retail items and a few healthcare services. Then, there will be locations that are focused on primary care for customers. It sounds like these will be enhanced Minute Clinic locations. Finally, they’ll be rolling out a beefed-up version of their HealthHUB locations. These locations employ dieticians and other healthcare professionals that assist customers in maintaining chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Why Will CVS Close So Many Store Locations?
CVS opened thousands of locations across the country some years ago. At that time, they wanted to be as close to returning and potential customers as possible. However, that business model is no longer as profitable as it was then. For the most part, online shopping has lowered the demand for in-person locations.
However, the pharmacy chain isn’t just looking to offload some locations to lower their overhead. In their statement, CVS Health stated that they made the decision to shutter some locations after much research and discussion. They’ve been “evaluating population changes, customer buying patterns, and future health needs.” They hope that by restructuring their physical locations they’ll be able to have the right kinds of stores in the right places.
CNN reports that another familiar business is poised to take over the empty buildings created by CVS closures. Dollar General is looking to get into the healthcare business and preexisting pharmacies would be the perfect locations for them to being their foray into the drugstore business.