CVS Health shuttering almost 1,000 stores in 3-year pivot

Company trading traditional retail focus for new health care formats

New York /
Nov.November 18, 2021 04:30 PM

CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch (cvshealth.com, iStock)

CVS Health is preparing to shutter almost 1,000 stores in the next three years as it looks to develop new health care outlets.

The company announced plans on Thursday to close approximately 300 stores on an annual basis in the next three years. The Associated Press reported the closures represent nearly one-tenth of CVS’ 10,000-store retail footprint.

Drugstores are the most visible offering CVS provides, but the company also dabbles in health insurance, prescription drug plans and providing widespread flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

As part of its retail changes, CVS plans on focusing on three models of stores going forward, one of which is the traditional pharmacy with retail offerings and select pharmacy services, according to the AP.

Additionally, CVS will have stores primarily focused on being a primary care center for customers, as well as its HealthHUB stores, which provide a range of health care-centric services, from yoga studios to chronic care management.

In announcing the updated retail strategy, CVS said the company expected to take an impairment charge between $1 billion and $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter. That charge is not expected to impact CVS’ earnings forecast.

The competition for retail dollars heated up during the pandemic as many customers looked towards e-commerce to fulfill their shopping and pharmacy needs, leaving chains like CVS in a tight position.

Meanwhile, health care facilities appear to be in increasing demand. In a sign of the times, shoppers at Long Island’s Smith Haven Mall will soon be able to visit an outpatient facility run by Stony Brook Medicine’s Clinical Practice Management. The space the outpatient facility is taking used to belong to a Sears.

[AP] — Holden Walter-Warner





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