Walgreens has announced it will begin the closure of 600 stores over the course of an 18 month period starting in spring 2018, a move announced during the company’s quarterly earnings call.
The move, which follows Walgreen’s acquisition of more than 1900 Rite Aid stores, is said to mainly affect Rite Aid stores, with the cost of the closures expected to amount to approximately $450 million, but is hoped to give the company $300 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2020.
Alexander W. Gourlay, co COO of Walgreens said, “The teams really looked at it location by location. And really, the vast majority of these closures will be Rite Aid and the vast majority being closed are within one mile of another drugstore that we own going forward.
“It really is about improving access to Walgreens in the future and in the Northeast and the Southern [regions] of the country.”
The closures will run alongside a $500 million investment in converting the remaining Rite Aid stores to the Walgreens brand.