CVS to close underperforming retail locations, says CEO

Written by By Michael Bradwell, CNN CVS Health will close hundreds of underperforming retail locations across the United States, in a bid to refocus resources on its growing retail business as it looks to…

CVS to close underperforming retail locations, says CEO

Written by By Michael Bradwell, CNN

CVS Health will close hundreds of underperforming retail locations across the United States, in a bid to refocus resources on its growing retail business as it looks to replace $1 billion in revenue lost after ending its relationship with Walmart earlier this year.

The drugstore chain said Tuesday that it will cut about 4% of its retail store locations in the US, or about 1,000 stores, by the end of 2020. CVS CEO Larry Merlo said the company’s strategy would focus on about 1,800 drugstores, compared with 2,600 currently. The company had previously said that it plans to close about 1,200 stores by the end of 2019.

CVS said it will also spend $2 billion to establish its first strategic office outside of the US.

The drugstore operator also announced a deal Tuesday with pharmacy benefits manager Aetna for their customers to go to the same CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations for healthcare services.

“We’re on a trajectory to double the size of our global retail pharmacy business by the middle of this decade,” Merlo said on a conference call.

CVS has been working to develop its new “Shopycat” digital platform in recent months.

CVS’s first “Shopycat” campaign in June focused on discovering what medications made shoppers most uncomfortable. The campaign attracted close to 1 million views, according to Merlo. In August, CVS ran another campaign called “Shopycat yay-imma” that also focused on the wellness angle.

Under the new strategic partnership, Aetna clients will be able to choose from a range of products at the drugstore chain.

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