By Nicole Goodkind, CNN
New York (CNN) — CVS will close dozens of pharmacies located inside of Target stores in early 2024, a company spokesperson said on Thursday. The closures come as retail pharmacy chains in the US face increasing difficulties with their prescriptions business, workforces and more.
CVS will shutter the pharmacies between February and April of this year as part of the Rhode Island-based company’s plan to space out stores and pharmacies more, said Amy Thibault, spokesperson for CVS Pharmacy, in an email to CNN.
The closures are “based on our evaluation of changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure we have the right pharmacy format in the right locations for patients,” she said.
Retail pharmacies have struggled to boost profits in recent quarters as Covid-related traffic dries up and consumers move more to alternative prescription filling services online. Rite Aid, one of the largest drugstore chains in the country, filed for bankruptcy last year.
CVS reported strong third quarter earnings, but those gains came mostly from the company’s efforts to diversify its offerings away from the retail business in recent years. Its health care benefits division saw sales rise by nearly 17% and health services grew by 8.4%.
Labor problems have also added to the company’s woes.
CVS representatives have previously said the company will cut thousands of jobs and close about 900 stores between 2022 and 2024 as it reconsiders its business priorities.
Prior to the closing of any impacted location, prescriptions will be transferred to a nearby CVS Pharmacy, said Thibault. Employees impacted by the closures will be offered commensurate roles elsewhere, she said.
CVS purchased Target’s pharmacy business from the big box retailer in 2015 for $1.9 billion. It currently operates about 1,800 pharmacies within Target’s 1,950 US locations.
CVS has about 9,000 pharmacy locations overall.
Representatives from Target declined to comment on the closures.
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