It might seem like there's a CVS on every corner, and according to the company, that's a problem that needs solving.
The nation's largest pharmacy chain has announced that it will close 900 stores over the next three years, which amounts to about 10% of its massive 9,900-location footprint, which is spread over 49 states and Puerto Rico. It's still unclear which stores will go dark, but the closures will begin in the spring, USA Today reports. CVS said it will take a close look at store density, population shifts, and other factors to make closure decisions.
The closures reflect CVS' pivot away from retail and toward providing more health services, and the company says it will remodel several stores to reflect its new HealthHub model that offers a wider variety of in-person and telehealth care. It also attributes the changes to different "consumer buying patterns" — namely, shoppers' continuing embrace of e-commerce. Amazon also opened an online pharmacy, giving customers less of a reason to pop down to their corner CVS.
CVS, based in Rhode Island, recently made headlines for becoming the latest big retailer to boost its starting wages to $15 an hour amid an unprecedented labor crunch. It has also been a major provider of COVID-19 vaccinations during the pandemic, and recently began giving shots to children 5 and over after the FDA authorized emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine in kids.
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