CVS Health, one of the leading retail pharmacy chains in the U.S., has announced plans to close select pharmacies inside Target stores. The closures, set to begin in February and conclude by the end of April, come as part of CVS’ efforts to improve profitability in a challenging market. While the company spokesperson did not disclose the exact number of stores that will be shuttered, reports suggest that “dozens” of locations will be affected.

Employees impacted by the closures will be offered comparable roles within CVS, ensuring that their job security is not compromised. In addition, prescriptions from the affected Target pharmacies will be transferred to nearby CVS locations, ensuring continuity of care for patients. CVS operates approximately 9,000 pharmacy locations nationwide, with around 1,800 of them currently housed within Target stores.

CVS cites the need to reduce its retail footprint as the primary reason behind the store closures. The company states that the decision is based on careful evaluation of changes in population, consumer buying patterns, and future health needs. This move aligns with CVS’ broader strategy to transform itself from a major drugstore chain into a dominant player in the healthcare industry. CVS previously announced plans to close about 900 stores, approximately 10% of its U.S. locations, between 2022 and 2024.

In recent years, CVS has made significant strides in expanding its healthcare offerings. The company’s acquisition of healthcare provider Signify Health for nearly $8 billion and its $10.6 billion deal to acquire Oak Street Health, an operator of primary care clinics for seniors, demonstrated its commitment to becoming a major healthcare player. However, the company’s expansion efforts have also resulted in a cost-cutting program that includes layoffs of approximately 5,000 employees.

The decision to close pharmacies inside Target stores follows a period of unrest in the retail pharmacy industry. Pharmacy staff from CVS and other drugstore chains walked out in protest against what they perceive as harsh working conditions that jeopardize the safety of both employees and patients. In response, CVS has expressed its commitment to engaging with staff to directly address their concerns and create a safer working environment.

CVS Health’s announcement to close select pharmacies inside Target stores showcases the company’s determination to adapt to changing market conditions and prioritize its transformation into a healthcare-focused entity. While the closures may present new opportunities for CVS, the impact on affected employees and patients cannot be disregarded. As retail pharmacy chains continue to navigate a changing landscape, it remains to be seen how these strategic decisions will shape the industry moving forward.


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