CVS to close hundreds of its stores in next three years

CVS Health will close hundreds of drugstores over the next three years, as the retail giant adjusts to changing customer needs and converts to new store formats.

The company said Thursday that it will close about 300 stores a year for the next three years, nearly a tenth of its roughly 10,000 retail locations as it reduces store count density in some places, The Associated Press reported.

The company has been evaluating population changes, customer buying patterns and future health needs to “ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations,” corporate officials said.

However, it is currently unclear whether the CVS locations in Columbus — at 2423 N. National Rd. and 4495 W. State Road 46 — will be impacted.

“Changes to our store footprint won’t begin until the end of Q1 (quarter 1) 2022,” CVS Health spokesman Charlie Rice-Minoso told The Republic. “We’ll provide more details, including specific locations, when available.”

Years ago, drugstore chains including CVS and rival Walgreens built thousands of locations around the country to get closer to costumer homes, according to wire reports. But the explosive growth of online shopping has blunted the demand for such in-person convenience.

Drugstores also have been redesigning their locations as they try to become known as more than just places to pick up prescriptions and cough syrup, according to the AP. They have become a key source of COVID-19 vaccines as well as annual flu shots.

They also are expanding the health care services they provide.

CVS Health said Thursday its stores will be grouped into three models.

Some will be traditional pharmacies that offer retail products as well as some health care services. Others will be dedicated to customer primary care, and the company will break out an enhanced version of its “HealthHUB” locations.

The company started introducing those stores a few years ago. They include health care workers including dietitians and are geared toward helping customers monitor chronic conditions such as diabetes and stay on top of their health.

The CVS location on National Road in Columbus is listed as a HealthHUB location on the drugstore chain’s website.

Shares of CVS Health Corp. rose $1.30 to $94.03 Thursday morning while broader trading indexes dipped.

—The Associated Press contributed to this story