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Walgreens to close thousands of underperforming stores amid restructure

The Walgreens store at State and Randolph streets in Chicago. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Walgreens announced plans to restructure its business model and potentially shutter thousands of stores in the process.

Walgreens CEO Tim Wentworth told analysts “changes are imminent” for about 25% of the company’s stores, which are underperforming, the Associated Press reported.

A 25% cut would result in about 2,100 stores closing nationally of the chain’s 8,600 United States locations.

Wentworth told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that closures will focus on underperforming stores, including stores struggling with theft or locations that are too close to each other.

“We are at a point where the current pharmacy model is not sustainable and the challenges in our operating environment require we approach the market differently,” Wentworth told analysts.

The company has already closed 2,000 stores over the past 10 years, the AP reported.

In March, Forbes reported that Walgreens Boots Alliance, parent company to Walgreens, lost nearly $6 billion in its second quarter on a loss in value of its investment in VillageMD, a primary care clinic offered in Walgreens drug stores.

The AP reported that Walgreens announced plans in March to close around 160 clinics.

“We continue to face a difficult operating environment, including persistent pressures on the US consumer and the impact of recent marketplace dynamics which have eroded pharmacy margins,” Wentworth said in a press release.

The company has not announced where closures are expected to take place, but employees who work at the closing locations “will be offered jobs elsewhere,” CNN reported.

As of June 2024, Massachusetts has over 100 Walgreens locations.

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