Walgreens permanently shuttered over 200 locations in 2019. Is this a sign of further changes for the venerable chain?
This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. All linked information within this article is fully-attributed to the following outlets: BestLifeOnline.com, Wikipedia.org, ScrapeHero.com, Snopes.com, Google.com, and CNN.com.
In October, 2021, BestLifeOnline.com published “Walgreens Is Permanently Closing These Stores, Starting Nov. 8,” by Kali Coleman. The article detailed a spate of company closings in the city of San Francisco based on increasing incidents of crime, specifically theft, near store locations.
As excerpted from Coleman’s piece, which references these recent closings with other Walgreens shutterings over the past decade: In 2015, the pharmacy chain closed around 200 stores to cut costs, and then in 2019, the company announced the closure of 200 more locations. But over the last year and a half, Walgreens has become an essential place of business during the pandemic, providing both vaccinations and COVID tests for people across the U.S. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to keep some Walgreens locations open. Recently, a rise in thefts has prompted the company to initiate the closure of several stores in one major city.
As a large number of closings of any major retail company will receive its share of scrutiny, questions have been asked of Walgreens in the press following the Northern California closures.
Let us explore further.
For a comprehensive overview of Walgreens, see Wikipedia page here.
From Wikipedia: Walgreen Company, Walgreens, is an American company that operates the second-largest pharmacy store chain in the United States behind CVS Health. It specializes in filling prescriptions, health and wellness products, health information, and photo services. It was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1901, and is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois.
The page further discusses a December 31, 2014 merger between Walgreens and Switzerland-based Alliance Boots to form a new holding company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, of which Walgreens became a subsidiary.
According to ScrapeHero.com, as of May 16, 2022 there are 8898 Walgreens locations in 53 states and territories.
Over the years, Walgreens has faced its share of rumors as to its financial health. See here for fact-checker Snopes.com February, 2021 piece on the matter, “Is Walgreens Closing Forever in 2021?” which attributed the rumors to a misleading internet article, since taken down.
Rumors were furthered — as a targeted Google.com search will verify — when CNN.com published “Walgreens and CVS Temporarily Close Some Stores as Covid Surges,” written by Alison Kosik, which details repercussions of the then-current Omicron Covid uptick: In a statement to CNN on Friday, Walgreens spokesperson Kris Lathan said, "While the vast majority of our stores are open and operating with normal business hours, the ongoing labor shortage combined with the surge of COVID-19 cases has resulted in isolated instances in which we've had to adjust operating hours or temporarily close a limited number of stores."
Though Walgreens has exhibited financial and operational volatility within the past decade, there is nothing official that implies the company is going out of business. Individual location closures, however, will likely continue as the company continues to compete in the current marketplace.
Walgreens will not be closing all of its stores permanently in the near-future, despite rumor to the contrary.
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