(NewsSpace.com) – CVS is one of the more popular pharmacy chains in the country. It offers everything from stationery to toiletries to the medications people need to survive. In some cities, the chain is so prominent that you can find one of the stores on nearly every corner. However, despite its presence in the US, the company has been undergoing some significant changes, and more are set to happen.
CVS Announces Store Closures
In 2021, the pharmacy chain announced that it was restructuring its business practices and aiming to go more digital. To achieve this, the company revealed it would be closing 900 stores across the United States, with the first to shutter its doors in the spring of 2022. True to its word, it closed 300 locations that year, with plans to close an additional 300 each in 2023 and 2024.
Fast forward to 2023, and that tactic hasn’t changed. It continues in its pursuit while considering “local market dynamics, population shifts, [and] a community’s store density” to ensure it meets community needs, according to a company spokesperson. It’s also taking into consideration the changing retail landscape, where more customers are opting for curbside pickup or deliveries.
CVS plans to change some of its locations to healthcare destinations, where people can go for testing and vaccinations. This will, in turn, increase business for the company’s insurance business. It’s not clear how many locations the company will transition to for this purpose.
Retail Theft Is a Real Issue
While CVS notes that the changes are largely due to wanting to expand its digital footprint, there’s no doubt that retail theft seemingly plays a major part in these decisions. It’s been a major point of contention since 2020 and has only escalated over the years.
CVS isn’t the only one suffering, either. Capital One Research revealed that in 2022, retailers lost more than $86 billion to theft. Worse yet, that number is expected to exceed $115 billion in just two years. The problem has gotten so bad that other pharmacy chains have closed or plan to — Walgreens, for instance, has 150 locations on the chopping block — and others are considering putting all of their offerings behind plexiglass, a last-resort solution to keep people from walking out with goods in hand, undeterred.
With 900 stores closing, there are a lot of employees at risk of losing their jobs, though it’s unclear how many will see the unemployment line. CVS has said it plans to help workers in those locations find other opportunities, including positions at other stores that remain open.
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