The pandemic has changed the way a lot of people shop. Chances are, you now buy more products online or through services like Instacart or curbside pickup. Going inside a retail store for household essentials, groceries and even medication is often unnecessary.
In order to change with the times and keep up with the way people shop, CVS has announced that it plans to close approximately 900 stores by the end of 2024. The store closures started this year, and the plan is to close 300 stores per year for 3 years.
The drugstore company plans to help any employees impacted by the store closures find jobs at nearby CVS locations. Before starting the store closures, CVS had approximately 10,000 retail locations across the United States, so even with the large number of store closures, it’s possible that your local CVS might stay in business.
You might be wondering what closing stores has to do with changing with the times. CVS realizes that more and more people are shopping online, and they want to focus more on their digital capabilities. In addition, the company plans to modify many of its current locations to provide additional healthcare services.
In a news release, CVS’s CEO, Karen Lynch, explained, “Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company. We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”
More than 1000 of the stores that remain open will be turned into a type of store CVS calls a HealthHub. These locations offer a wider than typical selection of medical products and offer more health and wellness services such as mental health screenings and rooms that can accommodate a yoga class.
CVS plans to modify another group of stores so that they focus on providing primary care services, an expansion of its Minute Clinic services. These services will be particularly helpful to people who happen to have Aetna insurance, which is owned by CVS, since they will be able to receive healthcare services with little to no copay.
The remaining stores will be the typical CVS experience we all know where you can buy medication, makeup and essential grocery items all in one place, but hopefully these locations will have an updated design sometime in the future.
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, believes that it’s essential for CVS to provide an updated in store consumer experience or else customers will continue to take their business to stores like Target or Walmart instead of turning to CVS for healthcare services. He said, “The retail side of CVS’s business is shabby. Too many stores are stuck in the past with bad lighting, depressing interiors, messy merchandising, and a weak assortment of products. They are not destinations or places where people go out of anything other than necessity.”
Where do you usually go to buy medication? Do you shop online more than you used to for things will medicine and health care products?