CVS Health plans to close select pharmacies inside target stores earlier this year, a company spokesman said Thursday, as retail drugstore chains in the U.S. struggle to boost profits.
The closures will begin in February and end by the end of April, the spokeswoman said in a statement. She added that employees affected by the closing will be offered comparable roles within CVS and prescriptions will be transferred to a nearby CVS pharmacy before the branch closes.
A spokesman did not disclose how many stores would be closed, but a report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday said CVS would close “dozens” of locations.
CVS operates 9,000 pharmacies nationwide. According to a Target spokesperson, the company has a pharmacy in approximately 1,800 of Target’s 1,956 U.S. stores.
A Target spokesperson declined to comment on the closings or share plans for the closed CVS locations.
The decision to close the stores is part of CVS’ efforts to reduce its retail footprint “based on our assessment of changes in the population, consumer shopping habits and future health needs,” a CVS spokesman said.
In 2021, CVS said it would close about 900 stores between 2022 and 2024, or about 10% of its U.S. locations, as the company seeks to transform from a major drugstore chain to a major healthcare company.
CVS has added to that push over the past year with its nearly $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health and its $10.6 billion acquisition of Oak Street Health, which provides primary care clinics for seniors.
But the company also launched a cost-cutting program last year as part of this expensive pressure on healthcare, with plans to lay off 5,000 employees.
The closings also come after pharmacy workers at CVS and other drugstore chains walked out in the fall to protest what they say are harsh working conditions that put both employees and patients at risk. CVS told CNBC that the company is working with employees to directly address any concerns they may have.
— CNBC’s Melissa Repko contributed to this report.
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