CVS to Close 900 Locations

The drugstore company plans to recast its stores as community health resources.

November 19, 2021

CVS Store Front

WOONSOCKET, R.I.—CVS Health said it plans to close 900 of its stores during the next three years, accounting for nearly 10% of its U.S. locations. The move could be a boost for convenience stores in some markets that compete with the drugstore chain for customer trips to pick up snacks and beverages.

The drugstore plans to create new store formats to drive higher engagement with consumers and focus more on health. CVS says its plans to have three store models: sites dedicated to offering primary care; an enhanced version of HealthHUB locations with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs; and traditional CVS Pharmacy stores. According to the Wall Street Journal, CVS initially said it didn’t need primary-care doctors or practices to become a go-to for medical services, especially for those with costly chronic conditions.

CVS says it’s “evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business.”

"Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company," said Karen S. Lynch, president and CEO of CVS. "We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence."

Additionally, CVS is hiring Prem Shah as its chief pharmacy officer, a newly created role. Shah will oversee the omnichannel pharmacy strategy, and Shah and Michelle Peluso will become co-presidents of CVS's retail business. Neela Montgomery, currently executive vice president and president, CVS retail/pharmacy, is leaving the company. Montgomery will remain in her role until the end of 2021.