CVS is set to close hundreds of stores across the country as it undergoes a complete retail overhaul – as more outlets move towards online sellers amid rampant increases in crime.
The major drugstore chain is coming to the end of a policy launched in 2021 which will see 300 stores closed each year – meaning 900 will have shuttered by 2024.
In the announcement, which has hit headlines again recently amid rampant shoplifting at the chain, bosses they said that they were undergoing a new ‘retail footprint strategy.’
CVS and other retailers across the US continue to adjust to post-pandemic footfall, with COVID helping turbocharge the popularity of online shopping.
More shoppers are turning to buying online in the wake of the pandemic, as well as rocketing levels of shoplifting affecting sales in stores.
CVS claims that ‘local market dynamics, population shifts, and a community’s store density’ are some of the aspects it has looked into when deciding which stores to shutter.
A spokesman said: ‘Maintaining access to pharmacy services in the communities we serve is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions.
‘Other factors include local market dynamics, population shifts, a community’s store density, and ensuring there are other geographic access points to meet the needs of the community.’
More customers are getting prescriptions filled online, retrieving personal care items through curbside pickup and visiting with doctors through telehealth.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, CEO Karen Lynch said: ‘Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company.
‘We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.’
The company confirmed that it is pushing to turn more of its stores into healthcare destinations in an attempt to drum up more claims for its insurance business.
It is also working to expand the HealthHub business, despite investigators finding in June that the company failed to provide proper interpretation services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing during their appointments with medical staff. The Department of Justice and CVS came to a settlement agreement that requires the company to change its policies.