The largest chain of pharmacies in the USA just announced that they will close 900 stores throughout the country, at the rate of 300 stores a year for the next three years.
The closure represents one in ten locals they own in all 50 states. The chain had tried a previous strategy to avoid closing locations through which they were not only a pharmacy but also they became small medical clinics. The company bought the health insurer AETNA and converted some of its pharmacies into health centers. While it has worked for them, the economic return has not been enough to avoid the closure of premises.
Competition with online sales is fierce, and Since Amazon announced that it would start selling drugs, the entire industry has started to reinvent itself.
Although it is presumed that there will be many layoffs, the company assured that they will 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.. 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 begins in April in the Northern Hemisphere. They have not yet reported which stores they plan to close, although the CVS spokesperson, TJ Crawford, stated that “there are several factors that will be taken into account including the dynamics of local markets, 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 underserved communities continue to be served”.
For the change, it will be essential that the company knows the changes in the population, in consumption patterns and has a projection of the future medical needs of the different communities, to be able to choose exactly which locations to close.
With the closure of 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 be able to remain competitive.
“Our stores are fundamental to our strategy and to our identity as a company. We will continue to focus on our comparative advantage of being in practically every community in the country, which will complement our expanding digital strategy”, Clarified in the statement the CEO of CVS, Karen lynch.
As in almost all industries, large pharmacies are turning their forces towards the 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 the moment a digital giant like Amazon enters the competition, it is very difficult to keep up for companies that do not have a purely digital logistics.
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