It will be for the next three years. It is part of the company's strategy to survive in the face of increasing the sale of medicines on the internet.
The largest pharmacy chain in the United States has just announced that it will close 900 stores nationwide, at the rate of 300 stores a year for the next three years.
The closure represents one in ten stores owned in all 50 states. The chain had tried a previous strategy to avoid closing locations. They were a pharmacy and were turned into small medical clinics. The company bought the health insurer AETNA and converted some of its pharmacies into health centers. Although it has worked for them, the economic return has not been enough to prevent the closure of premises.
The competition with online sales is fierce. Since Amazon announced that it would start selling drugs, the entire industry has begun to reinvent itself.
Although it is presumed that there will be many layoffs, the company assured that they would do their best to find new jobs for most of their employees.
"The company is committed to offering our colleagues who will be impacted jobs in other locations. In addition, new roles will also open up amid the restructuring of our business", they reported through a press release.
The closings will begin in the spring of 2022, which starts in April in the Northern Hemisphere. They have not yet reported which stores they plan to close. However, CVS spokesperson TJ Crawford stated that "there are several factors that will be taken into account including local market dynamics, population changes and the density of stores, as well as ensuring that those who are insured with AETNA or Caremark continue to receive their benefits. At the same time, it is a priority that poor communities continue to be cared for".
For the change, it will be essential that the company knows the changes in the population, in the consumption patterns and has a projection of the future medical needs of the different communities, to be able to choose precisely which stores to close.
By closing these 900 stores, CVS would save between $ 1 billion and $ 1.2 billion from its budget for the fourth quarter of next year, money that would give them air to remain competitive.
"Our stores are fundamental to our strategy and our identity as a company. We will continue to focus on our comparative advantage of being in practically all the communities in the country, which will complement our expanding digital strategy," said CVS CEO Karen Lynch in the statement.
As in almost all industries, large pharmacies are turning their forces towards digital commerce. Through the applications of the pharmacies, it is now possible to upload medical prescriptions and pay for medicines, which are then sent by mail or collected on the premises.
But when a digital giant like Amazon enters the competition, it isn't easy to keep up for companies that do not have purely digital logistics.