Walgreens will close 150 stores across the United States

Walgreens will close 150 stores across the United States

Pharmacy chain Walgreens plans to close 150 locations in the US and another 300 in the UK

This continues cost-saving initiatives underway at the company, including cutting more than 500 corporate employee jobs, Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice president and global chief financial officer James Kehoe said during the company's third-quarter earnings call Tuesday.

The company should have announced which locations would be closed and immediately responded to a request for comment from USA TODAY. Closings are expected to occur before Walgreens' 2024 fiscal year end in May 2024.

Store closures are just some of the company's cost-saving measures, which come as Walgreens reported a net income of $118 million, 59% less than a year earlier, and failed to meet profit expectations, based on S&P surveys. Global Market Intelligence.

Walgreens also lowered its profit forecast for the full fiscal year. Kehoe said the company expects to save $3.3 billion by the end of 2023 and another $800,000 in 2024, according to a transcript of the earnings call from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Less-than-expected demand for COVID-19 vaccines — 800,000 vaccines per quarter represented an 83% drop from a year ago — and sharp declines in COVID-19 testing contributed to the company's performance, Rosalind Gates Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said during the call.

"We've described COVID as a wildcard going into the quarter, and we've unfortunately seen a less impatient willingness to get vaccinated," she said.

The company is now downsizing its projections for the number of COVID-19 vaccines it will distribute. In addition, Brewer said the company currently has 1,100 locations with reduced operating hours, down from 1,600 at the end of May.

Brewer said the company expects to face "emerging challenges" such as lower consumer spending as stimulus funds end and student loan payments resume.

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