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Walgreens to shut 200 U.S. stores as part of cost-cutting plan

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A pedestrian walked under a Walgreens sign outside the drugstore, June 24, in Los Angeles. Pharmacy chain Walgreens plans to close 200 stores in the United States as it seeks to cut costs.

NEW YORK >> Pharmacy chain Walgreens plans to close 200 stores in the United States as it seeks to cut costs.

The company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday the closings are part of its previously announced plan to trim costs by $1.5 billion in a few years. In May, the company announced plans to close 200 stores in the United Kingdom.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based company operates over 18,000 stores worldwide. In June it reported a 24% decline in quarterly net income and predicted that annual earnings would be roughly flat with the prior year. Walgreens has been hit by challenges including reimbursement cuts and lower price increases for branded drugs.

The chain has about 20 stores in Hawaii. A company spokesman did not say if any of the Hawaii locations would be closed, but said in an email said, “Given that these (200) closures will represent less than 3 percent of our stores overall, and given that we have multiple locations in many markets, we anticipate minimal disruption to customers and patients. We also anticipate being able to retain the majority of the impacted store team members in other nearby locations.”

Year to date, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. shares are down nearly 25% while the broader S&P 500 is up 13%.

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