Walgreens to shutter 200 US stores; unknown if Austin is among the stores to close

Published 9:50 am Saturday, August 10, 2019

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 percent 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.

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

It’s unknown at this time if Austin’s Walgreens is among 200 stores to be closed. The company declined to release a list of the closing stores, but released the following statement:

“As previously announced, we are undertaking a transformational cost management program to accelerate the ongoing transformation of our business, enable investments in key areas and to become a more efficient enterprise.  As part of this effort, we plan to close approximately 200 stores in the U.S. Given that these 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.”

Look to the Austin Daily Herald for more information as it becomes available.