CVS Trims Expansion Plans

The drugstore will open about 100 stores in 2019; Walgreens said it will close 200 locations.

August 09, 2019

WOONSOCKET, R.I.—CVS Health announced that it would open only 100 stores this year, down from its usual 300, CNBC reports. CVS Pharmacy President Kevin Hourican said that the chain would open around 50 in 2020, saying the downsizing of its expansion was a “natural change.”

The chain recently announced it would be expanding its Care Pass program, which delivers products and prescriptions to members. “We will continue to aggressively evaluate our store portfolio to ensure we’re delivering the highest level of financial returns,” Hourican said.

CVS instead will be looking into revamping current stores into HealthHUBs that offer services such as blood tests and stock more health-related products, such as sleep apnea masks. The company debuted three HealthHUB stores in Houston earlier this year, with plans to open 1,500 within two years.

Meanwhile, rival Walgreens will close 200 U.S. locations and downsize units in the United Kingdom as well, CNBC reports. The new store closures are under 3% of its U.S. units. Most of the workers at those locations will be transferred to nearby Walgreens.