The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based company said Thursday that following a strategic review it will be shutting about 300 retail sites a year in the next three years, for a total of nearly 10% of its store fleet, as it looks in part to adapt to consumers increasingly ordering medicines online. The company hasn’t identified the locations yet.
Drugstore chains such as CVS and Walgreens for years were in a big expansion mode, but times have been changing. Walgreens has already reduced its real estate footprint. And both it and CVS have been looking to provide primary healthcare — services that customers or patients can’t receive online, such as coronavirus vaccinations — at their sites. Offering primary care at dedicated facilities will now be one of CVS’ focuses for its brick-and-mortar locations, via an expansion of its existing HealthHUB network, according to the company.
For its retail business, the company will be using three models to serve as its community health destinations: sites dedicated to offering primary-care services; an enhanced version of its HealthHUB locations with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs; and traditional CVS pharmacy stores that provide prescription services, and health, wellness, personal care and other retail offerings.
In a statement, CVS said it “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.”