Walgreens to Shutter 200 U.S. Stores

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Walgreens to Shutter 200 U.S. Stores

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 08/07/2019
Credit: Walgreens

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) plans to close about 200 U.S. stores, approximately 3% of the total number of stores it currently has in the U.S.

The news comes on the heels of the drugstore retailer announcing earlier this year that it’s closing 200 Boots drugstores in the United Kingdom over the next 18 months.

In an SEC filing, WBA said following a review of the real estate footprint in the U.S. the company plans to close approximately 200 locations, for which it expects to record related pre-tax charges of between $1.9 billion and $2.4 billion.

WBA has said it will cut costs by more than $1.5 billion annually after it had a tough second quarter. The drugstore retailer upped its store optimization program to shutter Rite Aid drugstores in the U.S. from 600 stores to approximately 750 stores at the time.

“As previously announced, we are undertaking a transformational cost management program to accelerate the ongoing transformation of our business, enable investments in key areas and to become a more efficient enterprise,” the company said in a statement.

In June, Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina reported in a company earnings call that WBA was “making good progress” in implementing the company’s Transformational Cost Management Program and that progress would provide funds to upgrade the retailer’s technology.

“The Transformational Cost Management Program that we began early this year is one of the underlying foundations of the changes that we need to make. Most importantly, this program will help drive a structural change in the company, making us a more efficient, more agile and more responsive organization. It is expected to provide a significant portion of the funding required for our major technology upgrade and development investments.”